US Officials Hold Talks With Chinese Counterparts

US Officials Hold Talks With Chinese Counterparts

( – US military officials recently met with Chinese counterparts for the first time since 2021. The Military Maritime Consultative Agreement Working Group (MMCA), comprising commanders from the Indo-Pacific Command, Pacific Fleet, Pacific Air Forces, and members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, met in Honolulu to discuss air and maritime operations.

Army Col. Ian Francis of the US Indo-Pacific Command led the delegation and emphasized that cooperation with China is essential to securing peace and safety in the Indo-Pacific region. Mr. Francis noted in a statement that discussion is vital in avoiding “accidents and miscommunication.”

The event occurred within days of President Joe Biden speaking to Chinese Premier Xi Jinping for the first time since they met last November.

The two leaders discussed global issues by phone, including military developments in North Korea, the Middle East conflict, the war in Ukraine, Taiwan, and China’s activities in the South China Sea.

In March, Chinese ships fired water cannons at Filipino supply boats in the area, injuring crew members. The US and Japan immediately condemned the action, noting an increase in hostile behavior from Chinese vessels near the Second Thomas Shoal – a contested territory in the South China Sea. The Filipino Navy has occupied the Shoal since 1999 but is surrounded by Chinese coast guards.

During their 45-minute call, Biden and Xi addressed the latter’s support for Russia in its war with Ukraine. International groups believe China is covertly supplying Russia with hi-tech products that could be used militarily, including satellite imagery and microelectronics.

The US President also mentioned TikTok, the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform that has sparked national security concerns among federal officials.

The President alerted Xi to Congressional legislation requiring TikTok’s owner, Bytedance, to sell the platform or face a nationwide US ban. The House of Representatives approved the legislation in March, but its fate in the Senate is unclear. Donald Trump opposes a ban, saying it could benefit Facebook, which he described as an “enemy of the people.”

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