US, China hold ‘candid, productive’ meeting amid tensions

Washington, Jun 13 (EFE).- American and Chinese government representatives held a “candid, substantive, and productive” meeting on Monday despite tensions between the two countries on matters such as trade, human rights, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and North Korea.

Jake Sullivan, the United States National Security Advisor met Yang Jiechi, China’s Foreign Affairs Commission office director, in Luxembourg, a senior White House official said in a call with reporters.

The official described the discussion between the two – which was unannounced and lasted four-and-a-half hours – as candid, substantive and productive.

Among the issues the US brought to the table was China’s veto at the United Nations of a US-sponsored resolution that would have imposed more sanctions on North Korea for its recent long-range missile tests.

On Sunday, China said the US’ strategy in the Indo-Pacific was aimed at creating “conflict and confrontation to contain and encircle others.”

Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe made these remarks during an address at the ISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, the biggest security conference in the Asia Pacific region, in which the US also took part.

The conference, which began Friday with a meeting on the sidelines between Wei and his US counterpart Lloyd Austin, will conclude Tuesday after an intense agenda following a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic and has been used by the powers to mark positions in the area.

Wei, who spoke Sunday, a day after Austin, criticized the US for its “attempt to build an exclusive small group in the name of a free and open Indo-Pacific to hijack countries in our region and target one specific country,” alluding to China.

The remark seemed to be aimed at the alliances that the US has created with countries in the area, including the Quad – with Australia, Japan and India – and the AUKUS – also with Australia and the United Kingdom – to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific, mentioned by Austin during his speech at the forum on the previous day. EFE


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