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For the first time, the United States has held talks with the Chinese military, led by Biden

For the first time, the United States has held talks with the Chinese military, led by Biden

The United States has been fighting China for years at the center of its national security policy, and the Biden administration has described its rivalry with Beijing as the “biggest geopolitical test” of the century.

(Reuters) – A senior Pentagon official told Reuters on Friday that this was the first time a senior Pentagon official had spoken with the Chinese military since President Joe Biden took office in January to focus on risk management between the two countries.

The United States has been fighting China for years at the center of its national security policy, and the Biden administration has described its rivalry with Beijing as the “biggest geopolitical test” of the century.

Relations between China and the United States are on the rise, with the two largest economies in the world colliding from Taiwan and China’s human rights record to its military operation in the South China Sea.

Despite the tensions and heated rhetoric, U.S. military officials have long sought to maintain open communication with their Chinese counterparts to mitigate potential explosions or deal with any accidents.

China’s Undersecretary of Defense Michael Chase spoke to Chinese Maj. Gen. Huang Zhou, Deputy Director of the People’s Liberation Army Office for International Military Cooperation last week.

“(They) used the US-PRC security telephone connection today to hold a secure video conference,” the U.S. official said.

Chase focused on “managing crises and risks,” the official added.

Officials say US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has not yet spoken with his Chinese counterpart because there was debate over which Chinese official would be Austin’s colleague.

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Vice President Kamala Harris said the United States welcomes the rivalry on Thursday and will not seek a confrontation with Beijing, but will speak on issues such as maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan claim parts of the South China Sea, which passes through major sea lanes and has gas fields and rich fisheries.

Biden increased sanctions against China for human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

Stepping out of President Donald Trump’s predecessor, Biden sought to unite allies and allies to counter what the White House calls China’s increasingly forced foreign and economic policies.

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