US national security advisor and Chinese foreign minister hold 2 days of ‘candid, substantive, and constructive’ talks in Malta

Both sides say they are committed to keeping lines of communication open and pursuing further high-level talks.

Photo by Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten on Flickr / CC BY 2.0

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has held several rounds of meetings with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on September 16-17 in Malta. The White House says, “This meeting was part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the relationship.” China’s foreign ministry also said the discussions centered on “stabilizing and improving Sino-US relations.”

This meeting comes after other such meetings between Sullivan and Wang in May in Vienna, as well as meetings between Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Climate Special Envoy John Kerry, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and their Chinese counterparts over the last several months.

The two men discussed global and regional security issues, such as that of the Asia-Pacific region and the Korean Peninsula, as well as the Russia-Ukraine war. The U.S. said Sullivan emphasized “the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

FM Wang told Sullivan: “The Taiwan issue is the first insurmountable red line in Sino-US relations.” He said the U.S. must abide by the three Sino-US joint communiqués and commit to not supporting Taiwanese independence from the mainland.

China also said FM Wang discussed development. The foreign ministry readout mentioned, “China’s development has strong endogenous driving force and follows inevitable historical logic. It cannot be stopped. The Chinese people’s legitimate right to development cannot be deprived.”

Malta says diplomatic efforts by its top diplomat, Ian Borg, were behind the Sullivan-Wang meeting. It says the upcoming meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping was also discussed.

Sources (3)
helpPrimary sources where the above facts were found.
White House readout
Chinese foreign ministry readout
Keith Caruana (Maltese ambassador) on X