China open to defence minister meeting with US as tension eases

The thawing of relations follows a meeting between US President Joe Biden (right) and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Group-of-20 meeting this month. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING – China says it is open to a defence minister meeting with the United States at a summit in Cambodia later in November, in another sign of thawing ties between the two nations.

“China holds a proactive, open attitude for exchanges with the US” at the ninth Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus, and the two sides are maintaining coordination, Defence Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei said in a statement on Sunday.

He was responding to a question about whether the two countries’ defence ministers will meet at the event, which will run from Nov 20 to 24.

China’s defence ministry had earlier confirmed Minister General Wei Fenghe would attend the gathering. The meeting will be China’s first official military exchange with the US since Beijing froze dialogue with Washington in August after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan.

The thawing of relations follows a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Group-of-20 meeting in Indonesia in November. The world’s two largest economies are taking efforts to reduce tensions after their ties deteriorated in recent years due to frictions over trade, technology, Taiwan, human rights and other issues. BLOOMBERG

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