A high-level security dialogue between Chinese and American officials will be held in Washington DC today. The talks present an opportunity for senior figures, including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Joint Staff Chief Fang Fenghui, to exchange thoughts on Sino-US relations.
The dialogue comes almost a month after the Trump administration conducted its first freedom of navigation exercise within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef—a contested outcrop in the South China Sea. The operation ruffled feathers in Beijing, which condemned it as
Despite this, the US-China relationship under President Trump has, so far, appeared relatively cordial after a ‘successful icebreaker’ at the president’s Mar-a-Lago Estate. Today’s inaugural US-China Diplomatic Security Dialogue is a further indication that Sino-US relations are developing better than many anticipated.
However, considering the historic, strategic and resource significance of the South China Sea dispute, the relationship could quickly turn sour.