Top US and China officials discussed Taiwan, Ukraine and other security issues in Luxembourg, in the latest sign that leaders of the world’s two largest economies are trying to keep high-level communications open despite simmering tensions.
The meeting between US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪) on Monday “included candid, substantive and productive discussion of a number of regional and global security issues, as well as key issues in US-China relations,” the White House said in a statement, without elaborating.
The meeting lasted for four-and-a-half hours, said a senior US administration official who briefed reporters afterward.
The two men discussed Taiwan, the South China Sea, the war in Ukraine and North Korea’s nuclear program, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.
Although Yang said Beijing is ready to work with Washington to find ways of cooperating, he complained that the “US side has been insisting on further containing and suppressing China in an all-round way.”
He said the US “should correct its strategic perceptions of China.”
The talks might fuel speculation that US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) are to speak again soon.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chinese Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe (魏鳳和) agreed to further discussions after a face-to-face encounter — their first — on Friday in Singapore.
In-person meetings between Sullivan and Yang in Europe — in October last year and again in March — led to calls between Biden and Xi.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) told a regular news briefing in Beijing yesterday that he had no information about a potential call involving the presidents.
“Both China and the US believe that to keep the line of communication open is necessary and beneficial,” he said.
Regarding the Luxembourg meeting, the White House said: “Mr Sullivan underscored the importance of maintaining open lines of communication to manage competition between our two countries.”
Sullivan reiterated the US’ “one China” policy on Taiwan and China, and expressed concern about Beijing’s activities in the Taiwan Strait, said the senior administration official, who asked not to be identified as a condition of participation in the briefing.
He also expressed US concern about China’s veto of a UN Security Council resolution last month that would have imposed new sanctions on North Korea over Pyongyang’s ballistic missile tests, the official said.
Washington notified Taipei of the meeting between Sullivan and Yang beforehand, and would give a briefing on it soon, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said in Taipei yesterday, while declining to comment further.
Additional reporting by Lu Yi-hsuan
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