US, Chinese Diplomats Hold Candid Talks06/06 06:16
Senior U.S. and Chinese diplomats held "candid and productive" talks in
Beijing and agreed to keep open lines of communication to avoid tensions from
spiraling into conflict, officials said Tuesday.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Senior U.S. and Chinese diplomats held "candid and
productive" talks in Beijing and agreed to keep open lines of communication to
avoid tensions from spiraling into conflict, officials said Tuesday.
Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant U.S. secretary of state for East Asian and
Pacific affairs, was the most senior U.S. official confirmed to have visited
China on Monday since tensions between Washington and Beijing soared over the
shooting down of a Chinese spy balloon over the U.S. in early February.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the time postponed a planned trip
to China, and Beijing has since largely rebuffed attempts at official
exchanges, though two top U.S. and Chinese defense officials briefly interacted
at a forum in Singapore over the weekend.
China's Foreign Ministry said Kritenbrink and Vice Foreign Minister Ma
Zhaoxu "had candid, constructive and fruitful communication on promoting the
improvement of China-U.S. relations and properly managing differences."
Beijing said it had stated its "solemn position on Taiwan" -- a self-ruled
island China claims as its territory to be annexed by force if necessary -- and
other issues and that the two sides had agreed to maintain communication.
The U.S. State Department also said the two officials held "candid and
productive discussions as part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of
communication and build on recent high-level diplomacy between the two
The U.S. Navy on Sunday complained about an "unsafe interaction" in the
Taiwan Strait, after a Chinese warship came within 150 yards (137 meters) of a
U.S. destroyer. And last month, a Chinese fighter jet flew dangerously close to
a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft over the South China Sea, where Beijing shares
overlapping territorial claims with other nations.
CIA Director William Burns last month reportedly took a secret trip to
Beijing in another sign the two sides are interested in restoring communication
through various channels.