WASHINGTON, Nov 12 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden wants to re-establish military-to-military ties with China, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday, days before the president and the Chinese leader are due to meet .
Biden will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in person for the first time in a year on Wednesday during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco. It will be only the second personal meeting between the two leaders since Biden took office in January 2021.
“The president is determined to see the re-establishment of military-to-military ties because he believes it is in the national security interest of the United States,” Sullivan said in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “We need these lines of communication so there are no mistakes or miscalculations or miscommunications.”
Sullivan said restored military ties could take place at all levels from senior leadership to the tactical operational level, both “on the water and in the air in the Indo-Pacific.”
Sullivan said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Biden would seek to “advance the ball” on military ties during his meeting with Xi, but declined to provide further details.
“The Chinese have basically severed those communications links. President Biden would like to re-establish that,” Sullivan said. “This is an item on the agenda.”
The Biden-Xi meeting is expected to cover global issues from the Israel-Hamas war to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea’s ties with Russia, Taiwan, the Indo-Pacific, human rights, fentanyl production, artificial intelligence, as well as “fair” trade and economic relations, a senior US official.
Relations between the two countries grew frosty after Biden ordered the shooting down in February of a suspected Chinese spy balloon flying over the United States. But top Biden administration officials have since visited Beijing and met with their counterparts to rebuild communication and trust.
Reporting by Katharine Jackson, Arshad Mohammed and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Scott Malone and Grant McCool
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