A senior White House official told reporters that Sullivan’s meeting with Yang in Luxembourg lasted about four and a half hours and followed a telephone conversation between them on May 18, according to “AFP”.
The White House said in a statement that the talks included “a frank, objective and fruitful discussion on a number of regional and global security issues, as well as key issues in US-China relations,” Sullivan stressing “the importance of maintaining open lines of communication to manage the competition between our two countries.”
No new call has been announced between US Presidents Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who last spoke via video link in March.
Speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, the US government official acknowledged the spat and tension between the two countries over a range of issues, including US attempts to isolate Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and the dispute over Taiwan.
And last Sunday, China’s defense minister vowed that China would “fight to the end” to stop any attempt at independence by Taiwan.
This came in the wake of Biden’s statement during his visit to Japan last month that the United States would defend Taiwan in the event of an attack, which for decades was considered a departure from Washington’s “strategic ambiguity” policy.
The government official said Sullivan reiterated US policy to recognize Chinese sovereignty, but expressed “concern about Beijing’s aggressive and coercive behavior in the Taiwan Strait”.
He added that despite the differences, the dialogue is valued for “maintaining open lines of communication”.
Relations came to a dangerous crossroads under former President Donald Trump, who unleashed a trade war in response to what he described as China’s abusive trade practices.
Biden says he is considering raising some rates in an effort to curb hyperinflation domestically.