US, China, Set To Meet In First Ever Diplomatic And Security Dialogue

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Top diplomats and defense officials from the U.S. and China will meet for the first-ever Diplomatic and Security Dialogue (D&SD) on June 21. The meeting will address bilateral, regional and global security issues and, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, will be held in the hopes of "expanding areas of cooperation while narrowing differences on key diplomatic and security issues.” 

Neither the U.S. nor China has released an official agenda yet, but North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear program is expected to take center stage in the talks. In the first meeting between the heads of state of either country, which took place in April and inspired the D&SD, Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping spoke at length on the topic.

After multiple ballistic missile tests in May, Trump expressed his support of the Chinese on Twitter, saying, “North Korea has shown great disrespect for their neighbor, China, by shooting off yet another ballistic missile.” At the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 2, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis called North Korea the "most urgent" threat to U.S. interests. 

Other topics the two countries may cover include terrorism on a local and global level, military cooperation, and maritime tensions in the South China Sea. These tensions were heightened in the South China Sea after the Trump administration carried out its first freedom of navigation operation there earlier this year. A spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry said the operation “undermined China’s sovereignty and security interests and is highly likely to cause untoward incidents in the waters and airspace.” They added, “China is strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to this,”

Source: wikimedia commons Author: U.S. Department of State