Washington [US], April 20 (ANI): US Defense Secretary and Pentagon Chief Lloyd J. Austin III on Wednesday (Local time) held talks with the Minister of National Defense of China, General Wei Fenghe and discussed bilateral defence relations, regional security issues and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The call was a follow up to the video conversation between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden on March 18.
Taking to Twitter, Austin wrote, "This morning, I had a call with PRC Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe as a follow-up to the recent call between President Biden and Xi Jinping. We discussed US-PRC defence relations, regional security issues, and Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine."
In a press statement after the Biden-Jinping call, the White House said that this call was part of Washington's ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication between the United States and China.
The call on March 18 between the two leaders lasted nearly two hours. It was a key development with the Russia-Ukraine conflict ongoing. In the secured video call, Xi told Biden that the United States and China need to make efforts to maintain global peace.
"Conflicts and confrontations are not in anyone's interests. Peace and security are the values that the international community should cherish most of all," Xi was quoted as saying by Chinese state media.
US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price on Monday said that the United States will continue to carefully monitor the level of support China may show towards Russia with respect to Ukraine.
"We're going to continue to keep a careful eye, a careful watch on the level of support the PRC (People's Republic of China) exhibits towards Russia," Price said during a press briefing.
Price added that there will be strong consequences for China if it provides weapons or supplies to Russia for its operation in Ukraine or if it helps Moscow evade Western sanctions.
Meanwhile, the US sent four planes loaded with security assistance to Ukraine over the weekend and made one more delivery on Monday. (ANI)