US and Chinese Leaders Meet, Agree To Resume Military Communications
The United States (US) and China have agreed to resume military-to- military communications in an effort to ease rising tensions.
President Joe Biden says China and the US are back to direct, open, clear communications,” following a rare meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping in California on Wednesday.
It was the first time the pair had spoken in person in more than a year.
At a news conference following the summit, which took place at a historic country estate near San Francisco, Mr. Biden said a lack of communication was “how accidents happen” and added that both presidents could now “pick up the phone and be directly heard immediately”.
Speaking later at a dinner with us business leaders, Mr. Xi spoke openly about wanting to pursue better relations with the US.
He said he and president Biden agreed to continue on a path of diplomacy and co-operation.
Biden said he had stressed to Xi the importance of “peace and stability” in the Taiwan Strait, but he sidestepped a question about whether he stood by his previous statements, made on four occasions, that he would order the US military to defend Taiwan from an attack by China.
He also declined to say whether Xi had clarified the circumstances under which China would invade Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.
A senior US official said the leaders held a “substantial exchange” about Taiwan and that Xi had raised the fact that a number of US officials have mentioned specific timelines, such as 2027 or 2030, for China to invade Taiwan.
“There seemed to be a slight amount of exasperation in [Xi’s] comments,” the official said, adding that the Chinese president “basically said there are no such plans”.