WASHINGTON, Nov 12 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden wants to restore military ties with China, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday, days before a scheduled meeting between the president and the Chinese leader.
Biden will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in person for the first time in a year on Wednesday during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco. This will be only the second in-person meeting between the two leaders since Biden took office in January 2021.
“The president is determined to see the restoration of military relations because he believes it is in the interest of American national security,” Sullivan said in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “We need these lines of communication so that there are no mistakes, miscalculations or misunderstandings.”
Sullivan said restoring military relations could take place at every level, from senior command to the tactical operations level, as well as “on the water and in the air in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Sullivan said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program that Biden would seek to “move the ball forward” in military relations during his meeting with Xi, but he declined to provide further details.
“The Chinese have basically severed these communications links. President Biden would like to re-establish that,” Sullivan said. “This is a top item on the agenda.”
The Biden-Xi meeting is expected to address global issues, from the war between Israel and Hamas to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, North Korea’s relations with Russia, Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region, human rights, fentanyl production, artificial intelligence, as well as “fair settlements.” A senior US official said: “Trade and economic relations.
Relations between the two countries became tense after Biden in February ordered the shooting down of a Chinese spy balloon suspected of flying over the United States. But senior Biden administration officials have since visited Beijing and met with their counterparts to rebuild communications and trust.
(Reporting by Katherine Jackson, Arshad Mohammed and Andrea Shalal – Prepared by Mohammed for the Arabic Bulletin – Prepared by Mohammed for the Arabic Bulletin) Editing by Scott Malone and Grant McCall
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