Amid ongoing trade war with the US and tension over the South China Sea, Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe said on Sunday that Beijing's door is still open for talks but warned that it was "ready to fight till the end" if a fight is what America wants. Addressing the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue here, Gen Wei also said that telecom giant Huawei is not a military company and defended the Tiananmen Square massacre where Chinese army tanks were used on protestors 30 years ago.
The US and China are locked in a bitter, year-long trade dispute which has seen the Trump administration recently boost tariffs on USD 250 billion of Chinese goods.
US President Donald Trump is demanding China to reduce the massive trade deficit which last year climbed to over USD 539 billion. He is pressing for verifiable measures for protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), technology transfer and more access to American goods to Chinese markets.
"On the trade friction started by the US: if the US wants to talk, we will keep the door open. If they want to fight, we are ready," General Wei said while speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
He asserted that Huawei is not a military company despite despite its founder Ren Zhengfei's previous career in the army.
"Huawei is not a military company. Do not think that because the head of Huawei used to serve in the military, then the company that he built is part of the military," General Wei said.
"It doesn't make sense because these sorts of ex-servicemen, upon their retirement, a lot of them have set up companies in countries across the world," said Gen Wei, the first Chinese defence minister to attend the forum since 2011.