China-US talks held by top diplomats Yang Jiechi and Mike Pompeo amid Hong Kong spat

China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi has made an unexpected trip to New York for talks with his US counterpart Mike Pompeo, in an apparent attempt to close the growing distance between the two nations, including over
protests in Hong Kong

Yang’s trip on Tuesday came with relations between the countries dominated by a wide range of confrontations. The same day, the United States said
China had denied requests for two US Navy ships to visit Hong Kong

A brief statement released by state-run Xinhua news agency said Yang, a Politburo member and head of the Communist Party Office of Foreign Affairs, had exchanged views with Pompeo on the relationship between China and the US, without elaborating. The US State Department also released a brief statement without giving details about the meeting.

Shen Dingli, a professor of US studies at Fudan University, said the meeting was an indication that both sides were seeking to prevent their confrontations spiralling out of control.

“Though the two countries seem to be enlarging their scope of differences, they still understand the need to control and narrow such differences whenever possible,” Shen said.

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