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Senior officials from the United States and China discussed the South China Sea’s disputed waters on Friday in Beijing.
During these “candid” talks, US representatives voiced concerns over China’s “dangerous and unlawful” maritime activities. The dialogue between US-China Coordinator Mark Lambert and China’s Director-General for Boundary and Ocean Affairs, Hong Liang, aimed to smooth over military tensions and foster open communication channels.
The State Department emphasized the talks’ constructive nature and covered not only the South China Sea but also issues in the East China Sea. Specific incidents such as China’s interference with a Philippine mission and a risky encounter with a US aircraft were mentioned as particular points of US concern.
These discussions are seen as a step toward managing the complex US-China relationship before an anticipated encounter between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Further diplomatic talks are scheduled to follow, including consultations on arms control, as the nations attempt to lower tensions.