Chinese, US military chiefs hold talks

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Chinese and US military chiefs held talks on crisis communication this week, amid heightened tensions between the two military superpowers in the South China Sea, with the US denying a report on a possible drone attack.

The exchange, days ahead of the US elections, came as US Defence Secretary Mark Esper toured Asia with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo where they had urged countries to cooperate with the US to confront the security threats posed by China.

China has criticised that position as a Cold War mentality and zero-sum mindset.

Chinese and US militaries held a video conference meeting about crisis communication on October 28-29, Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Thursday.

According to Wu, Esper denied a media report about the United States studying a plan to attack Chinese islands and reefs in the South China Sea using an MQ-9 drone in the event that the US presidential election was not looking favourable for President Donald Trump.

Esper said the United States "has no intention of creating a military crisis with the Chinese," according to Wu.

"We urge the US to walk the talk, keep its promise, and take measures to prevent provoking China military in the air and sea," Wu said, adding that China will resolutely counter-strike if provoked with an attack at sea.