Adm. John Richardson, the US Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), and China's navy commander Adm. Wu Shengli are about to speak on Oct. 29 via video teleconference to discuss the situation in the South China Sea and Sino-U.S. navy relations.
A U.S. official confirmed that the discussion will take place.
“This call was not scheduled, but agreed upon between the two naval staffs in light of current events,” the official said anonymously to American news outlet Defense News.
The meeting was initiated by both officers to discuss recent operations in the South China Sea and the naval relationship between the two countries, the official said.
A report by Reuters said that the conversation will last an hour.
According to Defense News, this will be the third video teleconference held between a U.S. naval chief of operations and Chinese equivalent. The two countries' navy leaders have already met twice this year, in April and August.
According to the report by Defense News, during the Aug. 25 conversation, Wu invited Richardson to visit China, but a trip has not yet been scheduled, a Navy source said.
High-ranking U.S. officials, including U.S. Pacific Command commander Adm. Harry Harris and U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift, are also planning visits to China in coming weeks, said the report.
On Oct. 27, the U.S. warship USS Lassen illegally entered waters near Zhubi Reef, part of China's Nansha Islands, without the permission of the Chinese government.
China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday expressed "strong discontent" and "resolute opposition" over the patrol of U.S. warship. At a press conference on Oct. 27, spokesperson Lu Kang urged the U.S. to “immediately correct its wrongdoing”.
Lu said at the press conference that the Chinese side has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and adjacent waters. The U.S. navy vessel's unauthorized entry into waters off the islands and reefs is a severe political provocation against China which seriously threatens China's sovereignty and security, and jeopardizes the safety of personnel and facilities on the islands and reefs. What the U.S. has done violates the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and other international law as well as the relevant domestic law of China.
Lu also mentioned that China advocates that disputes between different countries should be properly settled through constructive dialogues and consultations and it calls for the efforts of not only China but also the U.S.