By Kanishka Singh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Two senior U.S. and Chinese diplomats met in Washington and held what the U.S. side described as “candid, in-depth, and constructive consultation,” the latest in a series of recent talks to keep lines of communication open between the world’s two largest economies.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink met with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister for Asia Sun Weidong, the State Department said in a statement on Thursday.
The meeting followed other high-level engagements between the two countries in recent months that have seen visits from high profile U.S. officials to China like Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in July and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in August.
More recently, Blinken met Chinese Vice President Han Zheng in New York and U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Malta.
“The two sides held a candid, in-depth, and constructive consultation on regional issues as part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication,” the State Department said.
Kritenbrink “reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the State Department said on Thursday, adding the two sides also discussed other regional issues, including Myanmar, North Korea, and maritime matters.
Relations between the world’s two largest economies have been strained in recent years due to a number of issues including Taiwan, the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, allegations of spying and trade tariffs, among others.
High-level talks between the two sides could help set the stage for a meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping later this year.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Sonali Paul and Michael Perry)