Top US, Chinese military officials hold talks for 1st time in over a year

US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and key Chinese People’s Liberation Army commander discuss global and regional security issues.

Publication: 22.12.2023 - 13:46
Top US, Chinese military officials hold talks for 1st time in over a year
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Top US and Chinese military officials held a virtual meeting on Thursday, in the first such conversation in over a year between two rivals, which are locked in a string of disputes. 

US Air Force Gen. CQ Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Liu Zhenli of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army discussed a number of global and regional security issues, local English daily, Global Times reported.

Liu, who is the chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the military body responsible for China’s combat operations and planning, said that the "Taiwan question is a purely internal affair of China, which allows no external interference, and the US should respect China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights in the South China Sea."

“Gen. Brown discussed the importance of working together to responsibly manage competition, avoid miscalculations, and maintain open and direct lines of communication,” said a statement from Brown’s office.

Brown, it added, reiterated the importance of the PLA engaging in substantive dialogue to reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings.

China had snapped high-level military communication with the US after then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid an unannounced trip to Taiwan.

However, in November, China’s President Xi Jinping flew to the US where he held a summit with his counterpart Joe Biden which appears to have eased the tensions.

This is the the highest-level military contact between world’s top two economies at a time when the two militaries have seen close engagement over the disputed South China Sea.