Washington, Mar 10 (PTI) US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan would be holding their maiden meetings with Chinese leaders in Anchorage city next week, the Biden administration said on Wednesday.
The meetings come immediately after Blinken's visit to key allies in the Indo-Pacific region.
Blinken and Sullivan will meet on March 18 in Anchorage, Alaska, with People’s Republic of China's (PRC) Director of Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and State Councillor Wang Yi, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
“The meeting will take place following Secretary Blinken’s meetings with two of our closest regional allies in Tokyo and Seoul. Secretary Blinken and NSA Sullivan will discuss a range of issues with the PRC,” Price said.
On March 16-17 in Tokyo, Japan, Blinken joined by Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin will attend the US-Japan Security Consultative Committee ('2+2') meeting hosted by Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi.
On March 17-18 in Seoul, South Korea, Blinken and Austin will attend a US-South Korea Foreign and Defence Ministerial ('2+2') hosted by Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and Defence Minister Suh Wook.
The meeting in Anchorage would take place less than a week after the maiden virtual Quad summit between leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the United States on March 12.
Soon thereafter, Austin would embark on a three-nation trip to Japan, South Korea and India. Blinken will join him in Japan and South Korea for their respective bilateral dialogues.
Formed in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami and formalised in 2007, the Quad has met regularly at the working and foreign minister level. Friday's summit will be the first time that the Quad is meeting at the top leadership level, Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference on Tuesday.
The four Quad member countries have been highlighting their resolve to uphold a rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific.
The evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific region in the wake of China's increasing military muscle-flexing has become a major talking point among leading global powers.
The US has been favouring making Quad a security architecture to check China's growing assertiveness in the region.
China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Beijing has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. Both maritime areas are stated to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources and are also vital to global trade. PTI LKJ RS RS