WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. and Chinese military officers have resumed talks that were frozen after former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in the summer of 2022, a development U.S. officials have said is key to keeping the growing competition between the two great powers from turning into direct conflict.
During the deputy-level talks at the Pentagon, the two parties discussed setting future meetings between their military officers, including potentially scheduling a future meeting between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and newly appointed Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun.
Austin is currently hospitalized due to complications from prostate cancer treatment. He had not been scheduled to attend Tuesday’s meeting. Dong is a former naval commander who was appointed in late December after his predecessor, Li Shangfu, was removed from office.
Li was sanctioned by the U.S. in 2018 for buying Russian weapons. After he was named the defense minister in March 2023, the U.S. did not lift the sanctions. No U.S. defense secretary has visited China since Jim Mattis visited in 2018.