Biden’s National Security Adviser Engages in Diplomatic Talks with Chinese Foreign Minister for Enhanced Global Security

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan is set to meet with China’s foreign minister this weekend, as the Biden administration works towards easing tensions with Beijing.

Sullivan recently held discussions with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who also serves as the director of the office of the Foreign Affairs Commission. The meeting took place in Malta on Saturday and Sunday, as reported by the White House.

The White House stated, “This meeting was part of our ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the relationship.”

The readout from the meeting indicated that the two sides engaged in candid, substantive, and constructive discussions, building on previous engagements between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bali, Indonesia in November 2022.

According to the readout, the discussions covered various global and regional security issues, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and concerns related to the Taiwan Strait.

The White House added, “The two sides have committed to maintaining this strategic channel of communication and pursuing further high-level engagement and consultations in key areas between the United States and the People’s Republic of China in the coming months.”

This meeting comes just before world leaders gather in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

Sullivan and Wang last met in May in Vienna. Their discussions in Malta this weekend are another example of top officials from the Biden administration engaging with China, even though President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have not spoken in nearly a year.

During this year, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have all visited China to meet with government officials and business leaders.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated earlier this year after the U.S. military shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon that had been floating over the United States for several days. President Biden later referred to Xi as a dictator, although he downplayed the impact of this comment on relations with China.

The Biden administration has made it a priority to strengthen relationships and alliances in the Indo-Pacific region, with the aim of countering Chinese influence and ensuring that other countries do not become overly reliant on Beijing for financial support. This was a key focus for Biden during his recent trip to India for the Group of 20 Summit.

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