us China: China, USA in military relations negotiations amid strained ties
us China: China, USA in military relations negotiations amid strained ties

us China: China, USA in military relations negotiations amid strained ties

Defense officers from China and the United States has held two days of negotiations as a small sign of progress in the midst of a continued sharp decline in relations. The secure video conference, held Tuesday and Wednesday, was chaired by Major General Huang Xueping, Deputy Director of the People’s Liberation Army’s Office for International Military Cooperation, and the US Deputy Secretary of Defense for China Michael Chase.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said Thursday that the parties “exchanged in-depth views on the relationship between the two countries and the two military and issues of common interest.”

However, he blamed the “continuous provocation and containment” of China by the United States for the “significant difficulties and challenges” between the two militaries.

“China’s sovereignty, dignity and core interests do not cause any violations,” Wu said at a monthly briefing.

“As for the relationship between the two armed forces, we welcome communication, cooperate, meet differences and oppose coercion.”

In a statement issued in Washington, Defense Department spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Martin Meiners said the meeting was “an important part of the Biden-Harris administration’s ongoing efforts to responsibly manage US-China competition by maintaining open lines of communication with China.”

During the talks, he said the two sides held “an honest, in-depth and open discussion on a number of issues.”

“Both sides reaffirmed agreement to keep communication channels open. The US side also made clear our commitment to uphold common principles with our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.

China-US relations are facing the worst strain in decades due to trade, technology, human rights and Chinese military activities in the South China Sea, where Beijing has built runways and other infrastructure on top of man-made islands.

Military-to-military ties have been marked by deep mistrust, with the United States accusing China of lack of transparency as it massively upgrades the capacity of PLAthe military wing of the ruling Communist Party.

China has become angry that the Navy is sending ships to sail close to islands, as it controls in what Washington calls free navigation operations, along with US support for Taiwan.

President Joe Biden has maintained a tough line with China, but has sought better communication with Beijing. The talks between Huang and Chase are thought to mark the first high-level direct contact between defense officials under the Biden administration.

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