A summary issued on Sunday by the Chinese government said Mr. Wang stressed that the Taiwan issue was a “red line” for China, language that is consistent with the long-running view among Chinese leaders. The summary also said the officials discussed matters related to the Asia-Pacific region, the Korean Peninsula and Ukraine, as well as measures for “personnel exchanges” between the two nations.
The White House summary said Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Wang agreed that the two governments would “pursue additional high-level engagement and consultations in key areas.” In recent weeks, U.S. officials have said they were trying to set up a meeting between President Biden and Xi Jinping, China’s leader, on the sidelines of an international summit in San Francisco in November. However, recent developments, especially within the Chinese government and the party, have cast doubt on whether that would happen.
Questions are swirling around recent purges within the top levels of the Chinese government and the Communist Party. U.S. officials determined last week that Gen. Li Shangfu, the Chinese defense minister, who had not made any public appearances or pronouncements since late August, had been placed under investigation for corruption. In July, Mr. Xi abruptly ousted Qin Gang, the foreign minister, and announced that Mr. Wang, who had held that minister post before being promoted to the top foreign policy job within the party, would take over Mr. Qin’s duties.
U.S. intelligence agencies have been working hard to try to glean insights into the current conflicts within the leadership ranks, as part of a much broader espionage shadow war and intelligence collection campaign between the United States and China.
Mr. Biden has made an effort since the spy balloon crisis early this year to try to have his top officials engage in high-level diplomacy with counterparts in Beijing to establish stability in relations, no matter how slight.