September 18, 2023
Substantive and Constructive Talks in Malta: Top US and Chinese Officials Face Off
Officials from the United States and China have met in Malta to discuss new areas of cooperation and bridge some of their differences. The talks were said to be “substantive and constructive” in nature, according to a statement from the Maltese government Chief of Diplomatic Mission.
The meeting was the first of its kind between the two countries, and follows months of escalating tensions between them. The talks were meant to be an opportunity for the two sides to discuss possible solutions to their disagreements.
The Chinese delegation was led by Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang, while the U.S. delegation was headed by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan. The Maltese delegation included Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo, and alternate Foreign Minister Stephanie Coleiro Preca.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed a wide variety of issues, including the situation in the South China Sea and trade tariffs. They also discussed the Global Compact on Migration, which both countries are committed to participating in.
At the conclusion of the talks, both sides issued a joint statement confirming that the talks were “substantive and constructive,” and that the two sides had agreed to continue a dialogue on issues of mutual interest.
The talks in Malta demonstrate a willingness on both sides to resolve their differences, and could be a step towards reducing the trade tensions between the two countries. It remains to be seen whether this remote meeting will herald a new era of cooperation, or if it will end up being another rhetorical gesture.