As President Joe Biden prepares to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in person for the second time since taking office, the White House has expressed its intention to re-establish military-to-military ties with China. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan emphasized that Biden sees the resumption of these ties as crucial to U.S. national security interests.
The goal is to ensure open lines of communication and minimize the potential for misunderstandings, mistakes, or miscommunication between the two countries. The proposal for restored military ties extends to senior leadership, tactical operational levels, and activities in the Indo-Pacific region.
Importance of Re-establishing Military Ties:
President Biden acknowledges the significance of military-to-military engagement with China as a means to foster stability and prevent conflicts. The restoration of these ties can help build trust, enhance transparency, and reduce the risk of misunderstandings or miscalculations in the Indo-Pacific region. It is seen as a vital component of maintaining peace and security while safeguarding national security interests.
Potential Scope of Restored Ties:
The re-establishment of military ties with China is expected to encompass various levels of engagement. This includes dialogues and collaboration between senior leadership from both nations, as well as tactical operational cooperation.
A particular emphasis is placed on fostering communication and cooperation on the water and in the air in the Indo-Pacific region. By establishing a framework for military-to-military ties, the United States aims to enhance understanding and maintain stability amidst an evolving geopolitical landscape.
The Background of U.S.-China Relations:
U.S.-China relations have experienced strained ties in recent years due to issues such as trade disputes, human rights concerns, and tensions over the South China Sea. The Biden administration has adopted a comprehensive approach to managing the relationship, combining competition and cooperation on issues like climate change, global health, and nuclear proliferation.
The efforts to restore military ties reflect a broader strategy to engage China on multiple fronts.
President Biden’s push to re-establish military-to-military ties with China highlights his administration’s commitment to mitigating risks, fostering stability, and enhancing communication between the two nations. By prioritizing open lines of communication, both countries aim to minimize misunderstandings, miscalculations, and miscommunications that can trigger unintended conflicts or escalations.
As Biden and Xi Jinping meet for their second in-person summit, these discussions on military ties will serve as a crucial step towards building a more constructive and stable relationship in the Indo-Pacific region.