US-China Military Talks – Why Now?

The U.S. and China are reportedly set to declare the reestablishment of military communication channels, as per a recent Axios disclosure.

Sources, preferring anonymity, have informed Axios that the announcement is expected following a meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at this year’s APEC summit.

The halt in these communications occurred in 2022 when Nancy Pelosi, the then-Speaker of the House and California Democrat, made a controversial visit to Taiwan, leading to China suspending various communication channels including the Defense Policy Coordination Talks and the 1998 Maritime Military Communications Agreement.

Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during his Washington visit, hinted at China’s willingness to reopen these channels, as reported by several informants.

Bonnie Glaser from the German Marshall Fund, a think tank specializing in foreign policy, commented, “China’s signaling towards reinitiating military communication is noteworthy. It’s of great interest to the Pentagon. However, it’s yet to be seen if China will engage in substantial measures to minimize accident risks or discuss strategies for maintaining strategic stability.”

Additionally, Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng is expected to meet U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen this week, alongside participating in the APEC summit.

Set to take place in San Francisco from November 15-17, the APEC summit aims to foster free trade among 21 Pacific Rim nations.

This development follows a Nov. 3 meeting in Beijing between Chinese and American officials, where discussions encompassed maritime security, South China Sea incidents, economic issues, and environmental matters.