Restoring dialogue between the US and Chinese militaries as tensions persist will be the priority for President Joe Biden when he meets Wednesday with his counterpart Xi Jinping, a senior White House official said Sunday.
“The president is determined to see the re-establishment of military-to-military ties,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“He believes that having military-to-military communication is necessary to manage competition responsibly and to ensure the competition does not turn into conflict,” Jake Sullivan said.
“And we need those lines of communication so that there aren’t mistakes or miscalculations or miscommunication.”
It was China, he told CNN in a separate interview, that had “basically severed those communication links” amid tensions over trade, Taiwan, and other issues.
Biden and Xi are to meet on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit this week in San Francisco.
It will be the two men’s second in-person meeting since Biden’s election in 2020. And it will be Xi’s first visit to the United States since 2017.
Jake Sullivan told CBS that the two leaders would also discuss Iran, specifically “the question of Iran’s nuclear program and the threat it poses… as well as the threat that Iran poses to regional stability, and the threat it poses to US forces in the region.”
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