(VitalNews.org) – China’s Communist government has turned down a Biden administration request for a meeting between the military leaders of the U.S. and China.
On May 29th, Chinese leadership told the Pentagon that it declined the request. U.S. officials had hoped to arrange a talk between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu. A spokesman for the Chinese embassy said China declined the meeting because the U.S. was “seeking to suppress China” in multiple ways, including through sanctions on Chinese businesses. The spokesman questioned whether the White House’s request had “any sincerity.”
Several US states have banned, or are considering banning, Chinese interests from buying or investing in U.S. farmland. A federal effort to do the same is underway in the House of Representatives.
Defense Secretary Austin last met with his Chinese counterpart in 2022. But this month, White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan met with his counterpart, as did U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
About the recently declined meeting, the Pentagon told the Wall Street Journal the U.S. wants to maintain “open lines” of communication between the U.S. and Chinese militaries as a way of avoiding conflict.
China and the U.S. have long been adversaries, and the atmosphere between them has gotten even more chilly in recent months. After allowing a Chinese spy balloon to drift across the continental US for at least a week in January, a U.S. fighter jet eventually shot it down off the eastern coast.
China insisted that it was a purely civilian and meteorological balloon, but U.S. officials said it had a payload of spy equipment as big as a city bus.
At the same time, Chinese ally Russia continues to attack Ukraine, which is a U.S. ally. President Joe Biden has repeatedly asked China not to help Russia in its Ukrainian war.
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