(Bloomberg) -- The US’s top general said he’s still waiting to hear back from China about resuming military-to-military ties as the two countries seek to stabilize their fraught relationship.
“I’m standing by,” Charles Q. Brown Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the Reagan National Defense Forum at Simi Valley, California on Saturday.
“The opportunity to have dialog, whether it’s with our allies and partners or with our adversaries is really important,” Brown said. “With our adversaries, it’s to prevent miscalculation.”
At a summit in November, President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping promised to restore military communications severed after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last year.
Before that meeting, Brown said he’d written to his Chinese counterpart, General Liu Zhenli, to establish lines of communication but hadn’t yet interacted with him directly.
Read more: Top US General Doubts Xi Planning to Take Taiwan by Force
Brown said he believes the US still has an edge over China when it comes to cyber capabilities and artificial intelligence.
“As I read our intel, I feel pretty confident about our capabilities across not only cyber but AI and other technologies,” Brown said, adding that the US can’t afford to “rest on its laurels.”
Asked whether the US has responded strongly enough to attacks on US forces by Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria, Brown said the US is focused on responding without sparking a broader regional conflict after the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas fighters.
“We’ve been focused on striking at a time and place of our choosing,” Brown said. “One of the key goals after the 7th of October was to not let the conflict expand and so we’re being very thoughtful about the approach we take.”
Brown also said the US is working to shape the outcome of the war in Ukraine by providing aid to Kyiv, but said that military means alone won’t decide the outcome.
“With any military conflict, you don’t solve it completely with military means,” he said. “It ends up with a diplomatic solution.”
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