US defence secretary Austin discusses regional, global security issues with Chinese counterpart in first call since November 2022


Washington: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke to him on Tuesday Chinese equivalent For the first time since November 2022, they discussed bilateral relations and underlined the importance of maintaining open lines military-to-military communications, amid Beijing's aggressive maneuvers in the Indo-Pacific. The video conference was the first communication between Austin and Admiral Dong Jun, China's Defense MinisterWho took charge in December last year.
This is the first time the Defense Secretary has spoken at length with his Chinese counterpart since November 2022, when he met General Wei Fenghe, then Minister of National Defense of the PRC (People's Republic of China) at the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Was. -Even in Cambodia.
Following the 17th US-PRC Defense Policy Coordination Dialogue (DPCT) and working-level military maritime round in January 2024, Austin stressed the importance of continuing open lines of military-to-military communications between the United States and the PRC . Pentagon Press Secretary Pa Ryder said after the call between the two top officials, the consultation agreement (MMCA) will be negotiated as early as April 2024.
The Secretary of Defense confirmed the announcement by President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in November 2023 that the two sides will resume telephone conversations between theater commanders.
They also reiterated that the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate safely and responsibly wherever international law allows, Ryder said.
During the call, Austin underlined the importance of respecting freedom of navigation in the high seas guaranteed under international law, particularly in the South China Sea. The Chinese military has been behaving aggressively in the Indo-Pacific region, raising concerns in many global capitals.
“They also discussed Russia's unprovoked war against Ukraine and expressed concern over recent provocations by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK),” Ryder said.
The Secretary also reiterated that the United States is committed to our long-term One-China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, three. America-China The joint communique, and six assurances, and they reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability throughout the Straits,” he said.
The call follows Biden's meeting with Chinese President Xi on November 15, as well as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown Jr.'s call via video teleconference with his People's Liberation Army counterpart on December 21, 2023 .
A White House statement after the two leaders' meeting said Biden and Xi agreed to maintain open channels of communication and responsibly manage relations through high-level diplomacy and working-level consultations in the coming weeks and months. Welcomed the ongoing efforts to.

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