August 28, 2021
By Idrees Ali
Washington (Reuters) – A senior U.S. Department of Defense official met with Chinese troops for the first time since President Joe Biden took office in January, focusing on risk management between the two countries, U.S. officials said on Friday. I told Reuters.
The United States has put its opposition to China at the heart of its national security policy for years, and the Biden administration has described competition with Beijing as the greatest geopolitical test of the century.
Relations between China and the United States are becoming increasingly tense, and the two largest economies in the world are clashing over everything from human rights records in Taiwan and China to military operations in the South China Sea.
Despite tensions and intense rhetoric, U.S. military officials have long sought open communication with Chinese responders to mitigate potential relapses and deal with accidents.
Last week, China’s Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Chase spoke with Maj. Gen. Huang Xueping, Deputy Director of the PLA International Military Cooperation Bureau.
“[They]held a secure video conference today using the US-PRC defense telephone link,” a US official said on condition of anonymity.
Chase focused on “crisis and risk management,” officials added.
Officials said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had not yet spoken to a Chinese responder. This was partly due to the debate over which Chinese officials were Austin’s responders.
Vice President Kamala Harris said Thursday that the United States welcomed the competition and did not seek a dispute with Beijing, but would speak out on issues such as the maritime dispute in the South China Sea.
China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan claim parts of the South China Sea, where important routes intersect, including gas fields and abundant fishing grounds.
Biden has tightened sanctions on China on suspicion of human rights abuses in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Hong Kong.
In a shift from its predecessor, President Donald Trump, Biden has mobilized allies and partners to help counter the White House’s increasingly compulsory economic and foreign policy in China. I have asked for it widely.
(Report by Idrees Ali, edited by Sandra Maler and Daniel Wallis)
Monopoly-The Pentagon will meet with Chinese troops for the first time under Biden, officials say
Source link Monopoly-The Pentagon will meet with Chinese troops for the first time under Biden, officials say