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US, China Military Chiefs Hold First Talks in a Year

The Pentagon said that the top U.S. military commander and his Chinese counterpart had a virtual meeting on Thursday. It was the first time the two had spoken in person in over a year, and American officials were hoping the encounter would pave the way for a more extensive mending of relations between the two forces.

The video conference came after Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden agreed last month to restore military-to-military relations that Beijing had cut during House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s August 2022 visit to Taiwan, which is a self-governing territory.

General Liu Zhenli of the People’s Liberation Army of China and U.S. Air Force General Charles Q. Brown, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed “a number of global and regional security issues,” according to Brown’s office. Liu is the head of the Central Military Commission’s (CMC) Joint Staff Department, which is the military organization in charge of organizing and carrying out China’s combat operations.

US, China Military Chiefs Talks

US, China Military Chiefs Hold First Talks in a Year

According to Pentagon sources, dialogue between the two armed forces is essential to averting a miscalculation from turning into a war. “Gen. Brown discussed the importance of working together to responsibly manage competition, avoid miscalculations, and maintain open and direct lines of communication,” stated the office of Brown.

“Gen. Brown reiterated the importance of the People’s Liberation Army engaging in substantive dialogue to reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings.”

According to Brown, he expressed his willingness to meet with Liu in an introductory letter he wrote last month. According to a statement released late Thursday by the Chinese defense ministry, Liu stated that having a “correct understanding of China” is essential for the United States and China to build strong, stable, and long-lasting military-to-military cooperation.

American officials have issued a warning, stating that it may take some time for the two sides to establish a really effective dialogue, even if military contacts are partially restored.

According to some observers, Beijing views US military provocations in the area, therefore Beijing aims to restrict ambiguity in defense ties. Beijing and Washington are at odds over a variety of issues, including South China Sea territorial claims and the survival of Taiwan’s democratic government. Following the United States downing of a purported Chinese spy balloon in February, diplomatic relations are slowly mending.

Liu stated that the Chinese military forces will steadfastly protect state sovereignty and territorial integrity over the Taiwan issue, which China regards as a domestic matter. Along with China’s territorial sovereignty, Liu also demanded that the United States recognize China’s maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea.

“Be prudent in words and actions, and take concrete actions to safeguard regional peace and stability and the overall situation of China-U.S. relations,” stated the president.

US, China Military Chiefs Hold First Talks in a Year

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Liu has become the front-runner to succeed General Li Shangfu, China’s minister of national defense, who was fired last month. According to a September Reuters story, Li was the subject of an inquiry into possible wrongdoing involving the development and purchase of technology.

When asked about Li’s dismissal and more general problems in the PLA last month in Tokyo. Brown indicated.”alignment with Xi Jinping and his thinking as he continues to consolidate power” in addition to acknowledging corruption in the Chinese military.

In 2018, Li faced sanctions from the United States due to a weapons agreement. He had negotiated with Russia in a previous capacity. China had requested the lifting of the penalties. Which included bans on obtaining visas and financial interactions with the United States. There are no Western sanctions on Liu, 59.

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