July 15, 2024, 5:03 am

A H Khan

2018-11-06 17:23:15 BdST

US, China officials to hold top-level security talks Friday

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will host their Chinese counterparts Friday in Washington for a round of high-level diplomatic and security talks, the US State Department announced.

The second US-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue will bring Mattis and
Pompeo together with senior Communist Party foreign affairs official Yang
Jiechi, and with General Wei Fenghe, a department statement said.

The talks, which follow on from a first meeting held in June 2017, are the
latest sign of a normalization of US-China security ties, after relations
soured dramatically amid tensions over trade and the South China Sea.

In early October, a US defense official said that a planned visit by
Mattis to China had been canceled, because Beijing declined to make Wei

But addressing a Middle East security conference last week, Mattis said
his Chinese counterpart Fenghe would shortly travel to Washington, adding
that “strategic competition does not imply hostility.”

Washington and Beijing have been locked in a high-stakes standoff over
President Donald Trump’s move to end what he says have been years of unfair
trade practices by China.

Trump imposed new tariffs on roughly half of Chinese imports this summer
while Beijing fired back with tariffs on most US products.

He went on to escalate the feud into a full-press offensive — boosting
military support for rival Taiwan, accusing China of interfering in US
elections, stepping up denunciations of Beijing’s human rights record and
curtailing its access to US nuclear technology.

But Trump sounded a more conciliatory note last week, heralding “very
good” talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and later declaring that he
expected their trade conflict to end with “a very good deal.”

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also told a visiting delegation of US lawmakers
last week that he hoped their countries can meet “halfway” amid friction over
trade, security and other issues.


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