We recently wrote that Chinese Foreign Minister Chen Kang called the normalization of Sino-US relations a necessity, and stressed that the United States should correct its handling of the Taiwan issue.
It appears the two countries are indeed seeking peace, as White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Director of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Wang Jie held eight hours of talks at a hotel in the Austrian capital on Wednesday and Thursday.
According to information received from Washington, the date of the meeting with Vienna was announced only a few days ago.
The White House described the dialogue as honest and constructive, and an official who spoke on condition of anonymity said both sides described the February balloon incident as unfortunate and are now working to reopen channels of communication.
Sullivan and Fang discussed important issues affecting bilateral relations, including the Taiwan issue, and exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis.
According to an official statement from Washington, the meeting came as part of “continued efforts to maintain open channels of communication and manage competition responsibly.”
On the Chinese side, the discussions were described as meaningful, and Chinese news agency Xinhua confirmed that Wang, who is also a member of the Political Committee of the CPC Central Committee, elaborated on his country’s consistent position on the Taiwan issue. Fang and Sullivan agreed that both sides would like to use this strategic communication channel in the future.
They had previously refused a hearing
The meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit last November was not followed by high-level bilateral diplomatic events. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had planned to visit Beijing in February of this year, which was postponed due to a diplomatic row over the dropping of Chinese balloons in the United States.
The White House has already begun to include Blinken’s trip in the program, and has also noted that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Commerce Department Chief Gina Raimondo are also preparing to visit the Chinese capital. Until recently, Beijing showed no desire to maintain direct contact, to modernize the visiting system.
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