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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightPentagon held talks...

Pentagon held talks with Chinese military: US Official

Pentagon held talks with Chinese military: US Official

A senior Pentagon official held talks with the Chinese military on managing the risk between the two countries, a US official told Reuters on Friday. This is the first conversation between the two world powers since President Joe Biden took office in January.

Countering China has been at the heart of the US national security policy for years. Biden administration further described the rivalry with Beijing as the biggest geopolitical test of the century.

The two of the world's largest economies have been clashing over everything from Taiwan and China's human rights record to its military activity in the South China Sea. But despite the tension, the US military was seeking to have open lines of communication with their Chinese counterparts to be able to mitigate potential flare-ups or deal with any accidents.

Michael Chase, deputy assistant secretary of defence for China, spoke last week with Chinese Major General Huang Xueping, deputy director for the People's Liberation Army Office for International Military Cooperation.

"(They) utilized the U.S.-PRC Defense Telephone Link today to conduct a secure video conference," the US official said. He added that Chase focused on crisis and risk management.

As there was a debate on which Chinese official is US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's counterpart, he is yet to speak with his Chinese counterpart, officials informed.

Unites States welcomes competition and does not seek conflict with Beijing, said Vice President Kamala Harris. Instead, they will speak up on issues such as maritime disputes in the South China Sea, she added.

China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan lay claim to parts of the South China Sea. The Sea is crossed by vital shipping lanes and contains gas fields and rich fishing grounds.

Furthermore, Biden has ramped up sanctions on China over alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. Biden, unlike predecessor Trump, has broadly sought to rally allies and partners to help counter China's economic and foreign policies, which, the White House has alleged, are increasingly coercive.

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