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China defence ministry: Military communication has not stopped with US

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows U.S. and Chinese flags

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Ministry of Defence said on Thursday that military-to-military communication between Beijing and Washington has "not stopped", amid high tensions between the two superpowers over the South China Sea, Taiwan and other issues.

"I want to clarify that China-U.S. military-to-military communication is not stopped," said defence ministry spokesperson Wu Qian at a weekly briefing, adding that there remain "many difficulties and obstacles" in the relationship.

China snubbed a U.S. request for a meeting between U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu on the sidelines of a Singapore defence forum in June. Li was sanctioned by the U.S. in 2018 for allegedly purchasing Russian arms equipment.

(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Writing by Laurie Chen; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)