High-level talks aim to build trust Diplo­matic and se­cu­rity meet­ing be­tween US, China set for Fri­day

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHANG ZHIHAO zhangzhi­hao@chi­nadaily.com.cn

High-level diplo­matic and se­cu­rity talks be­tween China and the United States this week will send a pos­i­tive sig­nal to the world, show­ing that both sides are will­ing to en­hance mu­tual trust and prop­erly han­dle risks and dif­fer­ences, ex­perts said.

US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo and Sec­re­tary of De­fense James Mat­tis will host Yang Jiechi, a mem­ber of the Po­lit­i­cal Bureau of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, in Wash­ing­ton on Fri­day, the US State Depart­ment said in a state­ment on Mon­day. Yang is also the di­rec­tor of the Of­fice of the For­eign Af­fairs Com­mis­sion of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee.

State Coun­cilor and Min­is­ter of Na­tional De­fense Gen­eral Wei Fenghe will also join the Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion for the Fri­day talks, re­ferred to as the sec­ond round of the China-US Diplo­matic and Se­cu­rity Di­a­logue.

The di­a­logue is a frame­work for ne­go­ti­a­tion cre­ated by US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping at Mar-a-Lago in 2017 to ex­pand ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion while nar­row­ing dif­fer­ences on key diplo­matic and se­cu­rity is­sues, the US state­ment said.

The first round of di­a­logue was held in June last year in Wash­ing­ton, where is­sues were dis­cussed rang­ing from the de­nu­cle­ariza­tion of the Korean Penin­sula to main­tain­ing peace and se­cu­rity in the South China Sea.

The Fri­day di­a­logue will be the third time in five months that Mat­tis and Wei have met. They met in June when Mat­tis first vis­ited China, and they met a sec­ond time in Oc­to­ber on the side­lines of the 5th ASEAN De­fense Min­is­ters’ Meet­ingPlus in Sin­ga­pore.

Tao Wen­zhao, a US stud­ies re­searcher at the Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sciences, said it is un­prece­dented for de­fense min­is­ters to meet so fre­quently. This sig­nals that the coun­tries share a strong in­ter­est in main­tain­ing high­level mil­i­tary ex­changes, as well as en­hanc­ing strate­gic un­der­stand­ing and trust, Tao said.

“The Fri­day di­a­logue will play a pos­i­tive role in dis­pers­ing the neg­a­tive sen­ti­ments that are plagu­ing Sino-US re­la­tions,” Tao said. How­ever, he added, it might not im­me­di­ately yield sub­stan­tial so­lu­tions to ma­jor diplo­matic and se­cu­rity is­sues be­tween the two na­tions.

“But the di­a­logue is still im­por­tant for build­ing sta­ble, healthy, mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary re­la­tions be­tween the two na­tions,” he said. “Mil­i­tary re­la­tions are a mat­ter of life and death. Any mishaps be­tween the two mil­i­taries will be cat­a­strophic to bi­lat­eral ties.”

The Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion will likely re­it­er­ate its stance on se­cu­rity re­gard­ing the Korean Penin­sula, Tai­wan and the South China Sea, Tao said.

“The Chi­nese mil­i­tary will re­spond to provo­ca­tions from the US, but both mil­i­taries will con­tinue to seek co­op­er­a­tion wher­ever pos­si­ble,” he said.

Ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion in­clude en­hanc­ing high-level ex­changes and com­mu­ni­ca­tion mech­a­nisms, pro­mot­ing mu­tual vis­its by mil­i­tary per­son­nel and naval ships and in­creas­ing co­or­di­na­tion in peace­keep­ing mis­sions, coun­tert­er­ror­ism and hu­man­i­tar­ian aid, he said.

Li Haidong, a US stud­ies re­searcher at China For­eign Af­fairs Univer­sity, said Si­noUS re­la­tions are at a cross­roads given the rise in un­cer­tain­ties within US pol­i­tics due to the re­cent midterm elec­tion.

“The di­a­logue is very timely and nec­es­sary for both sides to mit­i­gate mis­un­der­stand­ings and prop­erly han­dle dif­fer­ences,” he said. “It will also serve as prepa­ra­tion for the pos­si­ble up­com­ing meet­ing be­tween Xi and Trump dur­ing the G20 sum­mit later this month, al­low­ing the two state lead­ers to dis­cuss is­sues more openly and ef­fec­tively.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.