The meeting will take place before Sullivan’s visit to Brussels and Paris. Emily Horn, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said Sullivan and Zhang will meet in Zurich as a follow-up to a September 9 phone conversation between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Qing. Horn said in a statement that the goal of the reconciliation is to continue to try to deal responsibly with the competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
According to the Financial Times, the meeting will take place on Wednesday and its goals include discussing a possible virtual summit between Biden and Xi. The two presidents have not met since Biden took office in January.
The White House has not confirmed this. “We’ll know more details tomorrow,” Karen Jean-Pierre, a deputy White House spokesman on Air Force One bound for Michigan, told the press.
The meeting will take place at a time when tensions are escalating between the two superpowers due to Chinese aircraft violating Taiwan’s airspace, while differences between the two sides still prevail in the areas of trade, technology, human rights and security.
Horn said that following Sullivan’s visit to Zurich, he will travel to Brussels and then to Paris to inform European allies of the joint meeting with Yang, while “reaffirming the importance of the transatlantic alliance.”
The US National Security Adviser will meet with the National Security Advisers of NATO in Brussels at the North Atlantic Council to monitor the implementation of the decisions taken at the June summit aimed at modernizing the alliance and addressing strategic challenges.
Sullivan will meet with officials from the European Commission and the European Council, accompanied by Vice President Dalip Singh, for talks on trade, technology and global economic issues.
The US National Security Adviser met in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron’s top diplomatic advisor, to resume bilateral talks after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited Paris on Tuesday. The two parties are preparing for a meeting between Biden and Macron, scheduled for the end of the month on the European continent, with the aim of settling differences in the wake of the diplomatic crisis over the recently established British-American-Australian Defense and Security Partnership (AUKUS).
Australia in September agreed to buy nuclear-powered but conventionally armed submarines as part of an AUKUS deal, and terminated a tens of billions of dollars contract with France in 2016 to buy 12 conventionally powered submarines.
Cover photo: cbarnesphotography, Getty Images