Monday, December 05, 2022

US and Chinese defense officials have taken another step towards reducing tensions

Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), 22 November. US and China defense officials, Lloyd Austin and Wei Fenghe, took another step on the path to détente between the two powers with a meeting in Cambodia this Tuesday, with Beijing once again clarifying Taiwan’s “red line”. Gave. relations.

The meeting, the third between senior officials of the two powers in the last eight days, took place on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) defense ministers’ summit in the Cambodian city of Siem Reap, to which both have been invited.

According to the Pentagon, Austin stressed the “need to responsibly manage rivalry (between the two powers) and keep lines of communication open”, while China’s Defense Ministry said Wei “kept his promises” to Washington. keep” and urged to “adopt a rational and Pragmatic Policy towards China”.

Although Wei stressed that “the Taiwan issue is an impassable red line,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei said today’s talks were “important” in putting relations between the two powers “on the path of healthy and stable development”. importance”.

Tan, quoted in official Chinese media, described the talks between US President Joe Biden and his Vice President Kamala Harris as “sincere and constructive” after two meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bali and Bangkok. Last week.

Similarly, Austin also “emphasized the importance of a concerted dialogue to reduce strategic risk, improve communication distress, and improve operational security.”

taiwan crisis

Despite a softening in recent weeks, the shadow of the Taiwan crisis continues to loom over relations between the two biggest world powers, once again making its position clear.

Wei explained to Austin that “the resolution of the issue is a matter for the Chinese people” and warned that “no external force has the right to interfere” in what Beijing considers part of its “core interests”, while Austin called on Beijing to “refrain from further destabilizing actions” and opposed unilateral changes to the status quo.

The Pentagon official also reaffirmed the US commitment to the One-China policy and stressed the importance of “peace and stability” in the Formosa Strait, which separates Taiwan from mainland China.

Today was the first meeting between defense officials from the two powers since their meeting at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore last June, before tensions escalated as a result of the then-Speaker of the US House of Representatives’ visit to Taiwan in August. Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

The leaders of the two countries, Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, staged a rapprochement last week on the margins of the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali to prevent their tensions from escalating into a war.

China claims sovereignty over the self-ruled island and considers Taiwan a rogue province since the Kuomintang nationalists retreated there in 1949 after losing a civil war against the Communists.

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