China defence chief defends policy on Hong Kong, Xinjiang

Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe

By The Associated Press
Tues., Nov. 5, 2019

BEIJING - China’s defence minister defended his country’s policy on the controversial issues of Hong Kong and the northwestern territory of Xinjiang in a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Defence Minister Wei Fenghe also raised the issues of Taiwan and the South China Sea in the Tuesday conversation with Defence Secretary Mark Esper.

While it’s usual for China to reassert its claim to sovereignty over both those areas in talks with the U.S., the mention of Hong Kong and Xinjiang is more unusual.

Semi-autonomous Hong Kong has been wracked by five months of anti-government protests that Beijing accuses the U.S. and other foreign forces of encouraging.

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