U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urged China to avoid "destabilizing actions” toward Taiwan in his first face-to-face meeting with Defense Minister Wei Fenghe since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in August.

In talks Tuesday in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the Pentagon chief also called for the two sides to maintain open lines of communication and warned of "increasingly dangerous behavior” by Chinese military aircraft in the Indo-Pacific region, according to a statement and briefing by U.S. officials after the meeting ended.

Chinese officials called the roughly 90-minute meeting positive and said they agreed on the need to strengthen crisis management, but put the blame squarely on the U.S. for deteriorating ties between the world’s two biggest economies.