China, US say talks in Bangkok ‘candid, substantive’


The two powers have recently butted heads again over self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its territory, and where elections were held this month.

The Democratic Progressive Party, which rejects China’s claim to the island, secured a third term.

In the run-up to the poll, Chinese officials slammed President-elect Lai Ching-te as a dangerous separatist who would take Taiwan down the “evil path” of independence.

This week two US lawmakers met Lai to reaffirm Washington’s support for Taiwan.

They are the second US group to arrive since the election – the first was an unofficial delegation sent by Biden to congratulate Lai two days after the vote.

During the latest talks, Wang stressed that Taiwan was “China’s internal affair, and the regional election in Taiwan cannot change the basic reality that Taiwan is part of China”, according to the foreign ministry.

“The biggest risk to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is the so-called ‘Taiwan independence’ movement. The biggest challenge to China-US relations is also the ‘Taiwan independence’ movement,” it added.

Sullivan “underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”, according to the White House, which did not elaborate further on the issue.

The two-day talks also addressed the topics of the Middle East, Ukraine, North Korea, the South China Sea and other international issues, both sides said.

They agreed to launch a joint working group on anti-drug cooperation, as well as set up an intergovernmental dialogue on artificial intelligence in the spring.

The two men “recognised recent progress in resuming military-to-military communication and noted the importance of maintaining these channels”, the White House said.

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