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  • Writer's pictureOlga Nesterova

U.S. Secretary of Defense and Chinese Minister of National Defense Discuss Defense Relations and Global Security

Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China
Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Admiral Dong Jun, Minister of National Defense of the People's Republic of China (PRC), engaged in a video teleconference today, marking a significant step in U.S.-PRC defense relations. The dialogue encompassed a wide array of topics, ranging from bilateral military communication to global security concerns.

During the discussion, Secretary Austin emphasized the criticality of maintaining open channels of military dialogue between the two nations. He referenced recent milestones such as the 17th U.S.-PRC Defense Policy Coordination Talks (DPCTs) in January 2024 and subsequent Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) talks in early April 2024. Furthermore, Secretary Austin reiterated the commitment made by President Biden and PRC President Xi Jinping in November 2023 to reinstate telephone conversations between theater commanders.

A pivotal aspect of the conversation centered on upholding international law, particularly with regards to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Secretary Austin stressed the significance of respecting high seas freedom of navigation principles and expressed apprehensions regarding Russia's actions in Ukraine and recent provocations from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Additionally, Secretary Austin reaffirmed the United States' adherence to its longstanding one China policy, which is underpinned by key agreements such as the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three U.S.-China Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances. He highlighted the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

The teleconference builds upon previous high-level engagements between U.S. and PRC leadership, including President Biden's meeting with President Xi Jinping in November 2023 and a video teleconference between Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. and his People’s Liberation Army counterpart in December 2023.

Looking ahead, the Department of Defense remains committed to fostering constructive discussions with PRC counterparts to facilitate future engagements between defense and military officials across various levels.

Source: Department Of Defense, April 16, 2024


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