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The United States stresses the need for “Cold War”-era crisis mechanisms with China

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By David Brunnstrom and Michael Martina

WASHINGTON (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Efforts to build a foundation in US-China relations have yet to succeed and the coming months will determine whether a constructive diplomacy with Beijing can be re-established, a senior White House official said on Thursday, emphasizing the need for “Hotline of the Cold War era and other crisis mechanisms.

Speaking at a time of heightened tensions with China over a US stopover by the Taiwanese president, US Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said Washington had made it clear to Beijing it was ready for another call between President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

“We are prepared and, from our perspective, we want to keep the lines of communication open and it is our intention to keep them open,” he said at an event hosted by the think tank Center for a New American Security (CNAS). .

Biden said last month after a US fighter jet shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon that he intended to talk to Xi about the episode and clarify matters, but that has yet to happen and tensions have only escalated since then.

Campbell said the Chinese have been “reluctant to engage in confidence-building discussions or crisis communications, or hotlines” and it would be a “responsible step” to have such mechanisms in place given that Chinese and US military forces operate in close proximity to the ‘of each other .

“We built them during the Cold War. We think they’re appropriate now,” he added.

Campbell said the US is in the early stages of a new phase of competitive relationship with China.

“There is also the recognition that in many respects our efforts to build a base, a floor under the relationship and the guardrails, have yet to be successful,” he said, referring to US priorities when Biden and Xi spoke on Wednesday. last time in a meeting in Bali in November.

“I think that in the coming months we will see if it will be possible to re-establish an effective, predictable and constructive diplomacy between the United States and China.”

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen arrived in New York on Wednesday bound for Central America. On his way back to Taipei next week, he will stop in Los Angeles where he is expected to meet with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, an interaction China has warned could lead to a “serious confrontation” in relations USA-China.

The visit comes at a time when US relations with China are at what some analysts see as their worst level since Washington normalized ties with Beijing in 1979 and switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei.

Campbell said the United States is intensifying its focus on the Indo-Pacific despite the war in Ukraine and this would show in its budgets, pledges, aid and assistance.

He pointed to India, which is expected to take part in another summit of the so-called Quad countries in Australia expected in May, and said he believed its relationship with the United States to be the most important of the 21st century.

“I think we are bound to work more closely together,” he said, adding that Washington wanted to see more Indian students in American universities and more Americans in Indian colleges.

Campbell said the US has an “ambitious agenda” for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum summit it will host in November, and Biden will take steps to address US determination to play more than just a security role , diplomat and politician in the region, “but also a lively economic and commercial role”.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Michael Martina; Editing by Leslie Adler and Stephen Coates)