US-China to resume military-to-military contacts


During talks with Xi, Biden emphasises the importance of maintaining open and clear channels of communication to avoid potential miscalculations…reports Asian Lite News

President Joe Biden has confirmed the re-establishment of direct military-to-military contacts with China. He emphasised the importance of maintaining open and clear channels of communication to avoid potential miscalculations that could lead to serious consequences in relations between the two major powers.

While speaking at a news conference in California following his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden said, “President Xi Jinping and I tasked our teams to maintain a policy and law enforcement coordination going forward to make sure it works…Secondly, and this is critically important, we’re reassuming military-to-military contacts, direct contacts…So, we are back to direct, open, clear, direct communications on a direct basis.”

Biden also highlighted the necessity of direct and transparent communication to prevent “vital miscalculations.”

“Vital miscalculations on either side can cause real trouble with a country like China or any other major country. So I think we’ve made real progress there as well,” Biden said on Wednesday (local time).

The meeting, held on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), followed efforts between the US and China to increase high-level communication amid continued tensions.

“I think it’s paramount that you and I understand each other clearly leader to leader, with no misconceptions or miscommunication,” Biden said at the start of the summit.

Xi arrived in the US on Tuesday (local time) and the meeting, occurring at an undisclosed estate, marked the first encounter between the two leaders in a year and Xi’s first visit to the US in six years.

“For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option,” Xi said in his opening remarks. “Planet Earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed.”

Biden, in his opening remarks, said competition between the US and China could not tilt towards conflict and added that his past meetings with Xi had been “candid, straightforward and useful.”

“As always, there is no substitute for face-to-face discussions. I’ve always found our discussions straightforward and frank,” Biden said.

Biden added that the leaders had a responsibility to their populations to work together, including on issues of climate change, countering narcotics trafficking and approaching artificial intelligence.

Biden raises concerns over human rights

Biden said that he raised the concerns of the US regarding China’s actions, including human rights and coercive activities in the South China Sea.

Addressing a press conference following his meeting with Xi, the US president said, “Today, President Xi and I also exchanged views on a range of regional and global issues, including Russia’s refusal to stop the war, brutal war of aggression against Ukraine and conflict in Gaza. As I always do, I raised areas where the United States has concerns about the PRC’s actions, including detained and exit-banned US citizens, human rights, and coercive activities in the South China Sea.”

“We discussed all three of those things. I gave them names of individuals that we think are being held, and hopefully, we can get them released as well. No agreement on that,” Biden said.

A White House readout of the meeting said that President Joe Biden raised concerns of China’s “human rights abuses” in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong during his nearly four-hour-long talks with Xi Jinping.

The US President said he stressed the need for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

“I also stressed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits. It’s clear we object to Beijing’s non-market economic practices that disadvantage American businesses and workers and we will continue to address that. I also named what we thought number of those were,” Biden said.

He said the talks with Xi were “some of the most constructive and productive discussions we’ve had.” He said, “I have been meeting Xi since both of us were Vice President, about 10 years. Our meetings have always been candid and straightforward. We haven’t always agreed.” He added that his talks with Xi Jinping have always been “straightforward.”

Biden meets Xi for the first time after taking charge

Underscores support for “free and open” Indo-Pacific

The White House’s readout of Biden’s meeting with Xi stated, “President Biden underscored the United States’ support for a free and open Indo-Pacific that is connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient. The President reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to defending our Indo-Pacific allies.”

“The President emphasized the United States’ enduring commitment to freedom of navigation and overflight, adherence to international law, maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea and East China Sea, and the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” it added.

During the meeting, Biden raised concerns over China’s human rights abuses, including in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong.

“President Biden underscored the universality of human rights and the responsibility of all nations to respect their international human rights commitments. He raised concerns regarding PRC human rights abuses, including in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong,” according to the White House readout.

On Taiwan, Biden stressed that the one-China policy of the US has not changed and has been consistent across decades and administrations. He called for restraint in China’s use of military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Biden emphasised that it remains a priority to resolve the cases of US nationals who have been wrongfully detained or subject to exit bans in China. (ANI)

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