US and Chinese defence officials met in Beijing for talks in which the Americans were expected to nudge China towards supporting more pressure on North Korea.
The US delegation led by Michele Flournoy, under-secretary for defence, was also expected to push for closer US-China defence ties following concerns in Washington over Beijing’s expanding military and recent stand-offs at sea.
“China and the US discussing the situation on the Korean Peninsula is a natural thing and we take this consultation very seriously, and hope that we can get positive results out of it,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters.
Arms sales to Taiwan were also expected to be on the agenda. From the Taipei Times:
Top US and Chinese officials were to discuss arms sales to Taiwan at separate meetings in Washington and Beijing yesterday, sources said.
In Washington, Wang Yi (王毅), the director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, was scheduled to meet with State Department officials, while in Beijing, US Defense Undersecretary for Policy Michele Flournoy was to head a US delegation in talks with Chinese officials, including People’s Liberation Army deputy chief of staff Lieutenant General Ma Xiaotian (馬嘯天).
[…]However, US officials were reluctant to say anything on Monday about the substance or significance of the meetings.
[…]Sources speaking on the condition of anonymity said that at both the Washington and Beijing meetings the possible future US sale to Taiwan of F-16 fighter planes, helicopters and diesel submarine technology would be on the agenda.