White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi over the weekend, officials said Sunday, in the latest effort to ease tensions between the superpowers.
Jake Sullivan and Wang Yi met in the Mediterranean island nation of Malta on Saturday and Sunday, the White House said.
“This meeting was part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the relationship,” a statement said.
President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have not talked or met since a summit in Bali last year but US officials say they are working to renew contact between the two leaders.
A string of high-level US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, have met recently with Chinese officials to prepare a possible Xi-Biden meeting.
The White House said Jake Sullivan and Wang Yi “committed to maintain this strategic channel of communication and to pursue additional high-level engagement.”
A Chinese government statement on the Malta meeting largely echoed the US version, saying “the two sides conducted candid, substantive and constructive strategic communication.”
Wang Yi brought up the issue of Taiwan — a self-governing, democratic island that China claims but which also receives strong US support — as a “red line that cannot be crossed in Sino-US relations.”
“The United States noted the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” according to the White House readout.
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