CHINA> National
Military relations on firm footing as talks wrap up
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-07-30 07:16

WASHINGTON: The senior officer in the US Pacific Command, Admiral Timothy Keating, said Tuesday that the United States and China agreed to resume military relations during the two-day Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SAED).

Keating called the decision a "significant agreement", saying he had "important discussions" with a rear admiral from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA).

"There was clear agreement on the need and desire to resume those talks," said Keating, referring to bilateral military dialogues.

The agreement came after US President Barack Obama called for a "positive, constructive and comprehensive" relationship with China at the start of talks on Monday.

 Full Coverage:
Military relations on firm footing as talks wrap up China-US S&ED

Related readings:
Military relations on firm footing as talks wrap up Balanced growth is the goal after crisis
Military relations on firm footing as talks wrap up Trade tops agenda of dialogue
Military relations on firm footing as talks wrap up Respect of core interests key to China-US ties
Military relations on firm footing as talks wrap up China urges US to accomodate DPRK's 'security concerns'
Military relations on firm footing as talks wrap up China: More voice of developing economies in IFIs

China and the US stressed the importance of working together at a time when the security situation and the global financial footing are both uncertain.

"The unmistakable theme of our conversations yesterday ... (was that) we want to continue to build upon the foundation of trust and mutual respect that our two countries have - as manifested by military-to-military relations," Keating said.

He said his Chinese counterpart stressed that no country today can develop sound policies in isolation.

"I think that's a great way of expressing the sense that all of us feel," Keating said.

And he welcomed news that the Chinese Ministry of Defense plans to launch an official website on Aug 1, the Chinese Army's 82nd birthday, saying such information "could be very beneficial".

"This goes to our desire for more transparency and better understanding of Chinese military intentions," he said. "Developing trust and mutual understanding is critical."

Keating said the Pacific Command would like to see the US and Chinese militaries participate in bilateral and multilateral exercises.

Sino-US military ties warmed after Barack Obama's inauguration as US president in January.

National defense officials met in Beijing on Feb 27, ending a five-month suspension of bilateral military talks that followed former US president George W. Bush's endorsement of an arms sale to Taiwan in October 2008.

Lieutenant-General Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of General Staff of the PLA and US Under Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy attended the 10th defense talks in Beijing last month, signaling the nations' desire to normalize military relations.

Xinhua - China Daily