Biden’s aide to meet senior Chinese diplomat amid tensions

Biden’s aide to meet senior Chinese diplomat amid tensions

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is due to meet with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Zurich on Wednesday, the White House said, amid mounting tensions between Washington and Beijing.
The meeting is scheduled just days after the Chinese military maneuvers near Taiwan were denounced by the administration of US President Joe Biden as “provocative” and “destabilizing.”

Sullivan and Yang to follow up on September 9 call between Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping “as we continue to seek to responsibly manage competition” between the two countries, National Security Council spokesperson said of the United States, Emily Horne, in a statement.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also confirmed that U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai will engage with her Chinese counterpart in talks on the implementation of a trade deal. 2020 between the two countries.

After Biden’s call with Xi last month, the White House said the two leaders agreed to continue to engage “openly and directly” on issues on which they disagreed or shared common interests.

Despite heightened tensions, US officials stressed that Washington was not seeking to enter into conflict with Beijing.

“The United States stands ready to work with any nation that engages and seeks a peaceful resolution to common challenges, even as we have intense disagreements in other areas,” Biden said in a recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly, in an apparent message to China.

But Evan Medeiros, an Asia scholar in the Obama administration who teaches at Georgetown University, said the Zurich meeting this week did not signal a rapprochement between Washington and Beijing.

“It’s not a thaw. It is not a return to commitment. It’s about getting serious and systematic about competition, ”Medeiros told Reuters news agency.

“It means being very clear about the limits, our perceptions of their behavior, especially the recent number of Air Force strike plans around Taiwan. “

Taiwan has reported that 148 Chinese Air Force planes have entered the southern and southwestern parts of its air defense zone since China celebrated its national day on October 1.

“Taiwan must be on the alert. China is more and more exaggerated, ”Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang said earlier this week. “The world has also witnessed the repeated violations of regional peace and the pressure exerted by China on Taiwan. “

The United States was quick to condemn what it called China’s “provocative military activity”, reaffirming the Biden administration’s “rock solid” commitment to Taiwan. China claims the democratically governed territory as its own.

“We urge Beijing to stop its military, diplomatic and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement on Saturday.

For its part, China has denounced growing US security alliances in the Indo-Pacific, including a recent pact with Australia and the UK to help the Australian military acquire submarines to nuclear propulsion.

Last month, Biden hosted the leaders of Japan, India and Australia as his administration seeks to cement the Indo-Pacific alliance between the four countries, known as the Quad. China criticized the group as “exclusive”, saying it was “doomed to failure.”


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