The governments of both the United States and China have accused each other of refusing to sit down for negotiations, as reported by Breitbart.
It was first reported on Friday by the Financial Times that requests for Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to meet with his Chinese counterpart, General Xu Qiliang, have been “rebuffed” every single time. The Global Times, a media outlet that is run by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) denied these allegations, but instead referred to Austin as “unprofessional and unfriendly” in his behavior towards China.
Instead, the Chinese insisted, it was Austin who allegedly refused to hold a meeting shortly after China “sent a congratulatory letter through military diplomatic channels” shortly after Austin’s confirmation. Austin, they claim, never responded to the letter, which also requested that the two leaders “hold talks at a proper time.”
The Global Times continued, claiming that the U.S. “then requested to talk to another Chinese military leader in the Central Military Commission,” and has since been “releasing inaccurate information through the press and is attempting to shift the blame to China for the fact that no high-level military talks have taken place so far.”
When asked about the dueling reports, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby deflected and said that he would not “match the public tit-for-tat here in terms of communication. We desire to have a dialogue with our counterparts in Beijing, and we’re still working our way through what that’s going to look like and how that’s going to transpire. And I think I’ll just leave it there.”