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Biden’s nationwide safety adviser secretly meets China’s international minister in bid to ease strained ties Specific Instances

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President Joe Biden’s nationwide safety adviser, Jake Sullivan, secretly met in Europe this weekend with Chinese language Overseas Minister Wang Yi, based on two U.S. officers, a major step in U.S. efforts to restore deeply strained relations with China.

Sullivan and Wang Yi held discussions Saturday and Sunday in Malta as “a part of ongoing efforts to take care of open strains of communication and responsibly managing the connection,” one of many officers mentioned.

Their talks might lay the groundwork for a much-anticipated assembly between Biden and Chinese language President Xi Jinping this fall aimed toward easing tensions between the world’s two largest economies within the wake of the surveillance balloon saga and China’s help for Russia’s battle in Ukraine.

Administration officers have been getting ready for a doable assembly in November across the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation, or APEC, summit in San Francisco.

A gathering between the 2 leaders would come at a crucial second within the U.S.-China relations. There are a selection of financial and safety points at stake, together with export controls, the battle in Ukraine and considerations within the U.S. that China might transfer on Taiwan.

The final time Xi and Biden met was on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, in November.Saul Loeb / AFP through Getty Pictures file

 The Biden administration has apprehensive {that a} lack of communication between the 2 nations might result in an unintentional confrontation and has sought in current months to get relations again on observe after they hit a brand new low in February when the Pentagon shot down the Chinese language spy balloon that flew over the U.S.

Biden and Xi haven’t spoken in practically a yr.

They final met in November final yr on the sidelines of a summit of world leaders in Bali, Indonesia. Regardless of Biden saying earlier this yr, after his administration shot down the spy balloon, that he anticipated to talk with Xi, a cellphone name between the 2 leaders by no means materialized. At a fundraising occasion in June, Biden referred to Xi as a “dictator” — a time period positive to annoy Chinese language officers.

Biden mentioned he was “disenchanted” that Xi didn’t attend a summit this month for the Group of 20 main world economies in India. When requested after the summit when he anticipated to satisfy once more with Xi, Biden mentioned, “I hope I get to see Mr. Xi before later.”

Sullivan’s assembly follows a sequence of high-level talks between U.S. and Chinese language officers in current months. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo visited China final month. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to Beijing in July.

Within the first go to to China by a U.S. secretary of state since 2018, Antony Blinken met in June with Xi in Beijing, and he met in July with Wang Yi — a dialogue the administration additionally described on the time as “a part of ongoing efforts to take care of open channels of communication” between the 2 nations.

State Division spokesperson Matthew Miller mentioned final week that the administration expects Blinken and Wang Yi to satisfy someday this yr within the U.S., probably on the sidelines of the United Nations Common Meeting in New York this week. 

Chinese language Vice President Han Zheng will probably be attending the meeting, Chinese language Overseas Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning mentioned in a information convention Friday, suggesting the nation’s prime diplomat, Wang, would possibly skip the assembly.

Sullivan, talking to reporters on Friday, didn’t rule out a doable assembly between a prime U.S. official and China’s vice chairman, who is anticipated to attend the U.N. Common Meeting within the absence of Xi.

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