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US Defense Secretary Mark T Esper
US Defense Secretary Mark T Esper

Amid rising tensions, US Defense Secretary Esper may visit China by 2020 end

ANI | Updated: Jul 21, 2020 18:40 IST

Washington [US], July 21 (ANI): Amid rising tensions between China and the US, Defense Secretary Mark T Esper said he hopes to visit Beijing by the end of 2020 to establish the systems necessary for crisis communications.
This would be the first visit of Esper to China as a Secretary.
"I personally spoke to my PRC counterpart on multiple occasions. Before the year is out, I hope to visit the PRC for the first time as a secretary in order to enhance cooperation on areas of common interest, establish the systems necessary for crisis communications and reinforce our intentions to openly compete in the international system," Esper said at a special presentation for the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Tensions between the US and China are at an all-time high. Lately, the relation between the two superpowers worsened over a range of issue including coronavirus, contentious Hong Kong security law, Indo Pacific and Uyghur Muslims persecution by the Chinese regime.
Recently, the US has sent the USS Ronald and USS Nimitz carrier strikes groups to conduct the dual exercise in the disputed South China Sea, which is fully claimed by Beijing.
The US action to conduct naval exercise drew a sharp reaction from China. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the US actions are intended to drive a wedge between countries and promote the militarisation of the South China Sea. (ANI)