China called on the US to stop arming Taiwan and adhere to the one-China principle at a meeting of military officials. The Ministry of Defense in Beijing said that the People’s Republic was not in the least willing to compromise on the Taiwan issue.

Representatives from both sides’ defense ministries met for the working meeting in Washington on Monday and Tuesday – a few days before Saturday’s presidential and parliamentary elections in Taiwan.

The island republic with more than 23 million inhabitants has had an independent, democratically elected government for decades. However, China’s leadership sees Taiwan as an inseparable part of the People’s Republic and is striving for reunification.

Election results also crucial for relationships

Whoever forms the next government in the island state southeast of China could also have a significant influence on the relationship between Washington and Beijing. US support for Taiwan is a key point of contention between the two nuclear powers.

Beijing and Washington’s defense politicians have only been talking to each other again for a few months. The exchange was frozen under former Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu because the US had imposed sanctions on the Chinese. According to the ministry’s statement in Washington, China expressed its willingness to “develop healthy and stable relations between the armed forces.”

According to its own statement, the US side emphasized keeping the communication channels between the two sides open so that the bilateral competition does not spiral into conflict. The Americans also addressed the Chinese “harassment” against Filipino ships. China and the Philippines are fighting over reefs in the South China Sea.