DOD Spokesperson Lt. Col. Martin Meiners provided the following readout:
Dr. Michael Chase, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia, met with People’s Republic of China (PRC) Major General Song Yanchao, Deputy Director of the Central Military Commission Office for International Military Cooperation, at the Pentagon for the 17th U.S.-PRC Defense Policy Coordination Talks from January 8-9, 2024.
The two sides discussed U.S.-PRC defense relations, and Dr. Chase highlighted the importance of maintaining open lines of military-to-military communication in order to prevent competition from veering into conflict. He also discussed the importance of operational safety across the Indo-Pacific region; reaffirmed that the United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate safely and responsibly wherever international law allows; and underscored that the U.S. commitment to our allies in the Indo-Pacific and globally remains ironclad.
The two sides also discussed regional and global security issues. Dr. Chase underscored the importance of respect for high seas freedom of navigation guaranteed under international law in light of repeated PRC harassment against lawfully operating Philippine vessels in the South China Sea. He also discussed Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine and expressed concerns about recent provocations from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Dr. Chase also reiterated that the United States remains committed to our longstanding one China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three U.S.-China Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances, and he reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability across the Strait.
This week’s talks follow President Biden’s November 15, 2023 summit with PRC President Xi Jinping, as well as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr.’s call via video teleconference with his People’s Liberation Army counterpart on December 21, 2023. The Department will continue to engage in active discussions with PRC counterparts about future engagements between defense and military officials at multiple levels.