The top American diplomat for East Asia and the Pacific region had a productive discussion with his Chinese counterpart in Washington, discussing bilateral, regional, and global issues. 

The top American diplomat for East Asia and the Pacific region held a “candid, substantive, and productive discussion” with his Chinese counterpart in Washington on Monday, the US State Department said.

Yang Tao, Director General of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s North American and Oceanian Affairs Department, was hosted at State Department headquarters by US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel J. Kritenbrink and Sarah Beran, National Security Council Senior Director for China and Taiwan Affairs.

The two senior US officials met with Yang in China in early June, just weeks before Secretary of State Antony Blinken made his high-profile visit.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and climate envoy John Kerry have also recently visited Beijing for meetings with top Chinese officials to stabilize ties.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has also announced she plans to visit in the coming months.

The State Department said on Monday that the “two sides held a candid, substantive, and productive discussion as part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the bilateral relationship.”

“The two sides also exchanged views on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues, including Russia’s war against Ukraine and cross-Strait issues,” it added.

The meeting comes only days after Washington announced a $345 million military aid package to Taiwan and less than a week since China’s foreign minister Qin Gang was removed from his post.

China claims the democratic, self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to take it by force if necessary.

Miroslava Salazar with AFP