Austin wanted to talk to Xu, China said “No, Wei.”

Secretary Lloyd Austin and China’s Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe exchanged concerns for their respective nations during a call on April 20th.

This was the first official call between the two officials and was considered a follow-up to the call between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month.

“I had a call with PRC Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe as a follow-up to the recent call between President Biden and Xi Jinping. We discussed U.S.-PRC defense relations, regional security issues, and Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine,”  wrote Austin on his Twitter page.

Austin, who believes that China is the US’ primary competitor, initially requested a telephone conversation with General Xu Qiliang, the most senior military officer in the PRC military.