As head of Beijing’s strategic nuclear forces and its fastest rising general, Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe had a reputation for “doing more and saying less.” It was a methodical, determined approach that made him a clear favorite of President Xi Jinping, placing him at the heart of China’s remarkable military revolution and its efforts to dominate the region.

Recently, however, in his first major international appearance, Wei chose to say a lot. At the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore — arguably Asia’s premier diplomatic gathering — his speech and the question and answer session were unexpectedly aggressive, even by China’s recent standards. He focused on two topics in particular: threatening Taiwan and defending the massacre of protesters in a Beijing square 30 years ago.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.