The United States is not considering lifting sanctions against Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu, the State Department said.
US officials said earlier that the sanctions against Li did not prevent him from holding official meetings with his US counterparts and should not be an obstacle to military talks between Washington and Beijing.
US President Joe Biden told reporters over the weekend that he would not consider easing sanctions on Chinese officials to improve relations.
He later reported that the possibility of easing sanctions against the Defense Minister “is now a matter of negotiation”.
On Monday, the State Department clarified the American position.
State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said no to a question about whether the United States was exploring the idea of easing sanctions on a senior Chinese military official to negotiate.
According to the State Department, the sanctions were related to China’s purchase of ten Su-35 fighter jets in 2017 and equipment for the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems in 2018.
US officials are eager to resume talks with their Chinese counterparts.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Li Shangfu are scheduled to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue Asia High-Level Security Summit in Singapore in June.
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