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Top US, Chinese advisers meet in Zurich amid tense relations

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 6, 2021

By Jamey Keaten Associated Press

ZURICH  — Top diplomatic advisers to U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for talks in Switzerland’s largest city Wednesday in hopes of ironing out differences on a range of topics from trade to Taiwan.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi were holding morning and afternoon discussions in an upscale hotel next to Zurich’s airport.

Their meeting comes amid heightened tensions between the two sides, not the least China’s record number of military flights near the self-ruled island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers as part of its territory.

The talks are a follow-up on Biden’s call with Xi last month as the U.S. administration continues “to seek to responsibly manage the competition” between the two countries, White House National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said in a statement Tuesday.

The White House this week raised concerns that Beijing was undermining regional peace and stability with its “provocative” action. In recent days, China has sent dozens of fighter planes toward Taiwan — including a record 56 on Monday.

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