| 26 February 2024, Monday |

US, China top military officials speak for first time in over a year

The top U.S. military officer held a virtual meeting with his Chinese counterpart on Thursday, the Pentagon said, in the first such conversation in over a year amid hopes by U.S. officials that it could lead to a broader restoration of ties between the militaries.

The video teleconference followed an agreement between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month to resume military-to-military ties severed by Beijing after then-House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited self-ruled Taiwan in August 2022.

U.S. Air Force General CQ Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Liu Zhenli of the China’s People’s Liberation Army touched on “a number of global and regional security issues,” Brown’s office said.

Liu is the Chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the military body responsible for China’s combat operations and planning.

Pentagon officials say communication between the two militaries is crucial to preventing a miscalculation from spiraling into conflict.

“Gen. Brown discussed the importance of working together to responsibly manage competition, avoid miscalculations, and maintain open and direct lines of communication,” Brown’s office said.

“Gen. Brown reiterated the importance of the People’s Liberation Army engaging in substantive dialogue to reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings.”

Brown said last month he had sent an introductory letter to Liu saying he was open to meeting.

  • Reuters