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US National Security Adviser Engages in ‘Frank and Productive’ Discussions with Chinese Foreign Minister

US National Security Adviser Engages in ‘Frank and Productive’ Discussions with Chinese Foreign Minister

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan convened with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Malta, marking a significant step in the efforts of the world’s two largest economies to stabilize their complex relationship.

Both sides characterized the discussions, which unfolded on September 16-17, as “candid, substantive, and constructive,” according to separate statements released by the White House and the Chinese foreign ministry on Sunday.

This meeting between Sullivan and Wang stands as the latest in a series of high-level dialogues between US and Chinese officials, potentially paving the way for a meeting later this year between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Their last encounter took place in Vienna in May.

China’s foreign ministry disclosed that both parties agreed to sustain high-level exchanges and engage in bilateral consultations on a range of topics, including Asia-Pacific affairs, maritime issues, and foreign policy.

The White House, on its part, emphasized the commitment of both nations to maintain this strategic communication channel and to explore additional high-level engagements and consultations in key areas during the forthcoming months.

Washington underscored the significance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, while Wang cautioned that the Taiwan matter constitutes the “first insurmountable red line of Sino-U.S. relations,” as indicated in the Chinese foreign ministry’s statement.

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Earlier this month, President Biden expressed disappointment regarding President Xi’s absence from a summit of Group of 20 leaders in India but remained optimistic about future interactions. The next probable opportunity for Biden and Xi to hold talks is at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco in November.

In a bid to maintain communication between the two nations amidst heightened tensions, several high-ranking US officials, including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, have traveled to China this year. These efforts follow tensions that flared up after the US military downed a Chinese surveillance balloon that had entered US airspace.

The last face-to-face meeting between Biden and Xi took place in 2022 on the sidelines of a G20 summit held on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali.

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