Dear Gen. Li Shangfu, minister of defense of the People’s Republic of China, Please excuse my rudeness in writing to your excellency for the first time.

Thank you for your recent attendance at such a hostile environment as the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. International media reported that you and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin only shook hands at the opening dinner without any substantive exchange.

During the conference, you reportedly rebutted the arguments by the U.S. defense secretary, who said that the conflict over Taiwan is “neither imminent nor inevitable. ... The United States does not seek a new Cold War,” and “For responsible defense leaders ... the right time to talk is now.”