The Austrian government has lauded its ability to facilitate a key secret exchange between top US and Chinese officials as relations between the superpowers are somewhat ‘frosty’.
Vienna, which inherited its reputation as a key diplomacy hub from the Cold War, has had a hard time regaining such notoriety since Russia’s OSCE boycott.
“We welcome the meeting held in Vienna between US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member Wang Yi,” explained Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg – his ministry had been involved in advance.
The two representatives of the world’s biggest and second-biggest economy met in Vienna on Tuesday and Wednesday. Their talks were “candid, substantive, and constructive discussions on key issues in the US-China bilateral relationship,” Sullivan said.
The recent diplomatic coup may help Vienna regain some of its lustre.
“Vienna will continue to be available as a place for dialogue for meetings of this kind also in the future and support them in the best way possible,” Schallenberg added in a statement on Thursday.
It is far from the first time that the storied Austrian capital welcomed key foreign figures. Just before the Cuban missile crisis in 1961, Nikita Chruschtov and John F. Kennedy met in Vienna.
“Open and constructive channels of dialogue between the US and China are important for regional and international security,” the Austrian minister added.
Previous attempts at establishing some kind of dialogue between the two had failed.
(Nikolaus J. Kurmayer | EURACTIV.de)
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