US secretary of state to meet China’s top diplomat in Hawaii amid strained ties.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with Yang Jiechi, China’s top diplomat, on Wednesday in Honolulu, the State Department said. The crucial meeting has as its backdrop a significant souring of relations between the two countries since the start of this year.
The talks are due to begin at 9am local time (19:00 GMT), according to the published schedule. As strategic rivalry continues, the world’s top two economies have been at loggerheads over China’s move to impose new security legislation on Hong Kong. Pompeo earlier criticized Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus, which originated in China, accusing it of refusing to share information.
Neither side has outlined an agenda for the talks, but diplomats and other sources have said the meeting was requested by Beijing, Reuters reported.
The meeting is expected to take place at Hawaii’s Hickam Air Force Base, and will be Pompeo’s first known contact with Yang since they spoke by telephone on April 15 to discuss the pandemic.