US-China meetings; Spy balloon that was not spying?; Wang Yi to Russia; PRC diplomacy; PLA rumors
Summary of today’s Essential Eight:
US-China meetings - Top PRC diplomat Wang Yi and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan held another in their series off occasional meetings, this time in Malta, as Wang Yi was on his way to Russia. It appears the meeting is another step in the process of trying to stabilize the US-China relationship and create the conditions for Xi Jinping to travel San Francisco in November for APEC, and a meeting with President Biden. Wang Yi is likely to visit the US in the next few weeks. Secretary of State Blinken met Vice President Han Zheng today in New York around the UU General Assembly meeting.
US General: PRC spy ballon was not spying when floating over US - Over the last few days there have been leaks to US media that the US government assesses that Xi did not know the balloon had drifted over the US and got mad at his generals when he learned what happened. On Sunday Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a few more days, who is…