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NEWS | April 16, 2024

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Call With People's Republic of China (PRC) Minister of National Defense Admiral Dong Jun

U.S. Department of Defense

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Admiral Dong Jun, Minister of National Defense of the People's Republic of China (PRC), spoke today via video teleconference.

The two officials discussed U.S.-PRC defense relations and regional and global security issues. Secretary Austin emphasized the importance of continuing to open lines of military-to-military communication between the United States and the PRC, following the 17th U.S.-PRC Defense Policy Coordination Talks (DPCTs) in January 2024 and a round of working-level Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) talks in early April 2024. He reaffirmed the announcement by President Biden and PRC President Xi Jinping in November 2023 that both sides will resume telephone conversations between theater commanders. The Secretary also reiterated that the United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate – safely and responsibly – wherever international law allows.

Secretary Austin underscored the importance of respect for high seas freedom of navigation guaranteed under international law, especially in the South China Sea. He also discussed Russia's unprovoked war against Ukraine and expressed concerns about recent provocations from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). The Secretary also reiterated that the United States remains committed to our longstanding one China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three U.S.-China Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances, and he reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability across the Strait.

Today’s call follows President Biden’s November 15, 2023 meeting with PRC President Xi Jinping, as well as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr.’s call via video teleconference with his People’s Liberation Army counterpart on December 21, 2023. The Department will continue to engage in active discussions with PRC counterparts about future engagements between defense and military officials at multiple levels.

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