Deputy Secretary Blinken traveled to Beijing on January 21 for meetings with Chinese officials, including for the second round of the Interim Strategic Security Dialogue (ISSD).
January 21, 2016
The dialogue, co-chaired by Deputy Secretary Blinken and Chinese Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, was characterized by frank, constructive discussions on topics of mutual interest, including the response to North Korea’s recent nuclear test and maritime issues. The co-chairs were joined in the dialogue by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia Abraham Denmark, Deputy Chief of the International Military Cooperation Office Rear Admiral Li Ji, and other senior defense and civilian officials from the two countries. The dialogue is designed to enhance mutual understanding of strategic security issues and reiterate the importance of continued in-depth, sustained, and open communication, to further develop a stable and cooperative strategic security relationship between China and the United States. The two delegations look forward to the sixth meeting of the full Strategic Security Dialogue on the eve of the next S&ED later this year.
Separately, the Deputy Secretary met with Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun to discuss cross-Strait relations. The Deputy Secretary reiterated the United States’ abiding interest in continued cross-Strait peace and stability.
Deputy Secretary Blinken also met with members of civil society to reinforce the United States’ concern over the diminishing space for freedom of expression in China. They discussed concerns over the crackdown on lawyers, recent arrests of civil society actors, as well as several new and proposed Chinese laws further restricting the activities of civil society.