US, Chinese senior officials meet possibly to lay groundwork for summit

Senior officials of the United States and China have confirmed that the two sides will maintain high-level exchanges. The officials may have discussed a possible summit of their leaders later this year.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Chinese Foreign Minister and Communist Party Political Bureau member Wang Yi met in Malta over the weekend.

A White House statement says the meeting was part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the relationship. It says the two sides discussed the bilateral relationship, Russia's war against Ukraine, and other topics.

Sullivan is said to have noted the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

A statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry says Wang emphasized that the Taiwan issue is the first insurmountable red line in China-US relations.

The US statement also says that the two sides "committed to maintain this strategic channel of communication and to pursue additional high-level engagement and consultations in key areas" in the coming months.

The officials may have discussed a possible meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit to be held in the US in November.