Monday, 24 June, 2024, Reg No- 06
Advance Search
Home

US, Chinese defence chiefs to meet following Taiwan tension

Published : Sunday, 26 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 110

WASHINGTON, May 25: US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin will meet his Chinese counterpart, the Pentagon announced Friday, after Beijing carried out war games around Taiwan in a sign to the US-backed democracys new leader.

The Pentagon said that Austin would meet Chinese Admiral Dong Jun when they attend the May 31-June 2 Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual gathering of defence officials around the world.

China this week encircled Taiwan with warships and fighter jets in a test of its ability to seize the island, which it claims. The drills followed the inauguration of President Lai Ching-te, who has vowed to safeguard self-ruling Taiwans democracy.

Austins meeting with Dong had been widely expected since they spoke by telephone in April, in what were the first substantive talks between the two powers defence chiefs in nearly 18 months.

President Joe Bidens administration and China have been stepping up communication to ease friction, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken visiting Beijing and Shanghai last month.

But defence talks had lagged behind until Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a resumption of military dialogue during a summit with Biden in California in November.

Austin will also travel next week to Cambodia for talks with defence ministers of the Southeast Asian bloc ASEAN and end his trip in France, where he will join President Joe Biden in commemorations of the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The trip was announced even though Austin late Friday handed over duties for about two-and-a-half hours to his deputy, Kathleen Hicks, due to his latest medical procedure.

Austin is a key figure in Western efforts to support Ukraine against a Russian offensive.

He "underwent a successful, elective, and minimally invasive follow-up non-surgical procedure" related to a previously reported bladder issue at the Walter Reed military hospital in Washington, Pentagon spokesman Major General Pat Ryder said.

During the procedure, Hicks served as acting secretary of defence, and Austin "resumed his functions and duties" as defence secretary later Friday evening and returned home, Ryder said.

The transparency comes after a furor when Austin vanished from public view for cancer treatment in December and again in January when he suffered complications.    —AFP







Latest News
Most Read News
Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
Published by the Editor on behalf of the Observer Ltd. from Globe Printers, 24/A, New Eskaton Road, Ramna, Dhaka.
Editorial, News and Commercial Offices : Aziz Bhaban (2nd floor), 93, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000.
Phone: PABX- 41053001-06; Online: 41053014; Advertisement: 41053012.
E-mail: info©dailyobserverbd.com, news©dailyobserverbd.com, advertisement©dailyobserverbd.com, For Online Edition: mailobserverbd©gmail.com
  [ABOUT US]     [CONTACT US]   [AD RATE]   Developed & Maintenance by i2soft