U.S. envoy Sullivan to meet China’s top diplomat amid high tensions

WASHINGTON/BEIJING, Oct 5 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s national security adviser will hold talks with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Switzerland on Wednesday, upholding a pledge by both countries to boost communication amid a deepening strategic rivalry.

The Zurich meeting comes at a time of heightened tensions between the world’s two largest economies over a range of issues including Taiwan. It will be U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan’s first face-to-face meeting with Yang since their acrimonious exchanges in Alaska in March, which also involved U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The White House said in a statement that the meeting follows up on Biden’s Sept. 9 call with Chinese President Xi Jinping “as we continue to seek to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.”

That call ended a nearly seven-month gap in direct communication between the leaders, and they discussed the need to ensure that competition between the two – with relations sinking to their lowest level in decades – does not veer into conflict.

In a brief statement on Wednesday, China’s foreign ministry said Yang and Sullivan will “exchange views on China-U.S. relations and relevant issues” during their Zurich meeting.

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Source: Reuters