On August 6, 2020, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper held a telephone call with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Minister of National Defense, General Wei Fenghe.
Secretary Esper called for greater PRC transparency on COVID, expressed concern about PRC destabilizing activity in the vicinity of Taiwan and the South China Sea, and called on the PRC to honor international obligations under the principles of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Secretary Esper communicated the importance that the PRC abide by international laws, rules, and norms, and meet its international commitments.
Secretary Esper reinforced his priorities for U.S.-PRC defense relations to focus on preventing and managing crises, reduce risk, and cooperate where interests of the two nations align.
Both leaders agreed on the importance of maintaining open channels of communication and developing the systems necessary for crisis communications and risk reduction. Secretary Esper affirmed the principles of a constructive, stable, and results-oriented defense relationship between the United States and the PRC.