Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

US and Chinese Defense Ministers met for the first time in nearly 18 months

US and Chinese Defense Ministers met for the first time in nearly 18 months 3
US and Chinese Defense Ministers met for the first time in nearly 18 months 3

On April 16, the Pentagon announced that US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had an online meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun, discussing defense relations and regional and global security issues.

`Secretary Austin emphasized the importance of maintaining smooth communication between the US and Chinese militaries,` the Pentagon said.

According to the Pentagon’s announcement, Secretary Austin also called for respect and ensuring freedom of navigation in international waters, especially the East Sea region.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at a press conference at the Pentagon, Washington on February 1.

Mr. Dong Quan, who took office as China’s Defense Minister in December 2023, said that the two powers need to `accumulate strategic trust`, respect each other and build a `non-conflict` defense relationship.

`China and America must recognize peace as the most precious thing and stability as the most important thing,` Mr. Dong said during the online meeting.

According to a statement from the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, Minister Dong Quan during the online meeting emphasized that `Taiwan is a core issue in China’s core interests` and called on the US to `take concrete actions.`

US and Chinese Defense Ministers met for the first time in nearly 18 months

Mr. Dong Quan, when he was still holding the position of lieutenant general, spoke at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Sea Guardians joint exercise in Karachi, Pakistan in January 2020.

The last time Mr. Lloyd Austin met with his Chinese counterpart was in 2022 in Cambodia, at that time the leader of the Chinese Ministry of Defense was Mr. Wei Fenghe.

For nearly two years, high-level defense dialogue between the US and China has almost frozen because of two diplomatic crises, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island of Taiwan in mid-2022 and the incident.

The US is promoting many visits and resuming dialogue channels with China in 2023, aiming to reduce tensions and thaw relations between the two powers.

After a meeting on the sidelines of the APEC summit in California in November 2023, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to control tensions in great power relations, including a proposal to resume

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Charles Brown then had a phone call with Mr. Liu Zhenli, Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff of the Chinese Central Military Commission, in December 2023.

China also agreed to send a delegation of defense officials to Washington to attend the 17th US-China Defense Policy Coordination conference in January and to Honolulu to attend the Maritime Military Consultation Agreement meeting earlier this month.

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