San Francisco: US President Joe Biden has confirmed the re-establishment of direct military-to-military contacts with China. He emphasised the importance of maintaining open and clear channels of communication to avoid potential miscalculations that could lead to serious consequences in relations between the two major powers.
While speaking at a news conference in California following his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden said, “President Xi Jinping and I tasked our teams to maintain a policy and law enforcement coordination going forward to make sure it works…Secondly, and this is critically important, we’re reassuming military-to-military contacts, direct contacts…So, we are back to direct, open, clear, direct communications on a direct basis.”
“We’re reassuming military-to-military contacts, direct contacts with China”: Biden
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) November 16, 2023
Biden also highlighted the necessity of direct and transparent communication to prevent “vital miscalculations.”
“Vital miscalculations on either side can cause real trouble with a country like China or any other major country. So I think we’ve made real progress there as well,” Biden said on Wednesday (local time).
The meeting, held on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), followed efforts between the US and China to increase high-level communication amid continued tensions.
“I think it’s paramount that you and I understand each other clearly leader to leader, with no misconceptions or miscommunication,” Biden said at the start of the summit.
Xi arrived in the US on Tuesday (local time) and the meeting, occurring at an undisclosed estate, marked the first encounter between the two leaders in a year and Xi’s first visit to the US in six years.
“For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option,” Xi said in his opening remarks. “Planet Earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed.”
Biden, in his opening remarks, said competition between the US and China could not tilt towards conflict and added that his past meetings with Xi had been “candid, straightforward and useful.”
“As always, there is no substitute for face-to-face discussions. I’ve always found our discussions straightforward and frank,” Biden said.
Biden added that the leaders had a responsibility to their populations to work together, including on issues of climate change, countering narcotics trafficking and approaching artificial intelligence.