US, China in talks for face-to-face meeting

52
2
US, China in talks for face-to-face meeting

US and Chinese officials have been talking about a face-to-face meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, amid an increase in friction over Taiwan.

Kurt Campbell, the coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs in Biden's national security council, confirmed on Friday that the two leaders had raised the possibility of an in-person meeting when they last talked on the phone in late July and agreed to have their team follow up to sort out the specifics. Campbell said there were no new details to announce, but both leaders are expected to take part in the G 20 meeting in November in Bali.

Campbell told reporters that the military exercises that China has been conducting in the Taiwan Strait have wound down for the time being, but they are part of an intensified pressure campaign against Taiwan which has not ended and we expect it to continue in the coming weeks and months.

He said that China's purported outrage over the visit to Taiwan by the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was just a pretext to change the status quo in the region.

Campbell said that the US would continue to ensure the freedom of navigation in the Taiwan Strait and the region.

He said we will not be reflexive or kneejerk. We will be patient and effective. We will continue to fly, sail and operate where international law allows us to, consistent with our longstanding commitment to freedom of navigation and that includes conducting standard air and maritime transits through the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks. He did not give details of when the transits would take place, or confirm that the US had opted not to sail an aircraft carrier through the strait on the grounds that it would be too provocative.

He said Biden had ordered the USS Ronald Reagan to remain on the station.