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NEWS | May 16, 2024

Readout of Assistant Secretary Ratner's Call With PRC Office of International Military Cooperation Director

U.S. Department of Defense

DOD Spokesperson LTC Martin Meiners provided the following readout:

Dr. Ely Ratner, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, spoke by video teleconference today with People's Republic of China (PRC) Major General Li Bin, Director of the Central Military Commission Office for International Military Cooperation, to discuss issues of mutual concern.

The two officials discussed U.S.-PRC defense relations, and Assistant Secretary Ratner highlighted the importance of maintaining open lines of communication in defense channels to reduce the risks of miscommunication. He reaffirmed the importance of holding calls between the Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the PRC Southern and Eastern Theater Commanders, following the November 2023 announcement by President Biden and PRC President Xi Jinping that both countries would arrange telephone conversations between theater commanders. He also discussed the importance of operational safety across the Indo-Pacific region and underscored that the U.S. commitment to allies in the Indo-Pacific and globally remains ironclad.

The two sides also discussed regional and global security issues. Assistant Secretary Ratner underscored the importance of respect for high seas freedom of navigation guaranteed under international law, and he raised concerns over dangerous PRC actions against lawfully operating Philippine vessels in the South China Sea. He also discussed the relationship between Russia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as well as serious concern over the PRC’s support for Russia’s defense industrial base that enables Russia’s war in Ukraine. Assistant Secretary Ratner 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 maintaining peace and stability across the Strait.