President Biden’s top military adviser has told China that the United States is open to resuming military contacts between the two countries that Beijing suspended last year in protest of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. told reporters on Friday that re-establishing military dialogue between two of the world’s most powerful militaries was a goal of the Biden administration, and that he had sent a message to his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Liu Chenlei, “to say that I would like to do this.” “.
“We’ll see how it goes together,” General Brown said. “I am optimistic.”
The message comes ahead of a meeting between President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit next week. American officials hope that the two leaders will announce the resumption of military dialogue there.
General Brown, who is traveling to the Asia-Pacific region this week, said reopening the communications channel is important to prevent misunderstandings that could turn into crises. “Just making sure that there is no error of judgment in this dialogue, for me, is extremely important,” he said during a press conference with reporters.
A Pentagon report last month said China continues to build its strategic nuclear arsenal and has likely amassed 500 nuclear warheads as of May, an increase of about 100 warheads over last year’s estimate.
The report accused the Chinese military of taking increasingly dangerous measures to deter US forces in the Asia-Pacific region, including what the US Indo-Pacific Command described as “coercive and risky” maneuvers in the skies over the South China Sea aimed at intimidating US military aircraft. .
China’s military is in the midst of a political shake-up: Defense Minister General Li Changfu was sacked last month in the latest purge in Beijing’s national security ranks. There has been speculation among military analysts that General Brown’s counterpart, General Liu, could become the country’s next defense minister.
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