President Joe Biden is seeking to restore military communication channels with China, according to Jake Sullivan, the White House National Security Advisor, ahead of a meeting with the Chinese leader scheduled in a few days.
Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco. This will be only the second face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since Biden took office in January 2021.
“The president is determined to see the re-establishment of military-to-military ties because he believes it’s in the U.S. national security interest,” Sullivan said in an interview with CBS. “We need those lines of communication so that there aren’t mistakes or miscalculations or miscommunication.”
According to Sullivan, the restoration of military communication channels can occur at all levels – from top leadership to operational-tactical levels, as well as between the navies and air forces of the two countries.
According to Reuters, Sullivan stated that during the meeting with Xi, Biden would try to make progress on military ties but declined to provide more detailed information.
“The Chinese side has essentially severed these ties. President Biden would like to restore them,” Sullivan said. “This is one of the main agenda items.”
It is expected that the meeting between Biden and Xi will cover issues such as the war between Israel and HAMAS, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea’s ties with Russia, and Taiwan, the Indo-Pacific region, human rights, fentanyl production, artificial intelligence, and fair trade-economic relations, according to a senior administration official.
Relations between Washington and Beijing worsened after Biden ordered the shooting down of a Chinese spy balloon flying over the US in February. However, after this, senior Biden administration officials visited Beijing, taking steps to restore trust.