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Minister of National Defense Chang Wanquan's visit to the United States this week has achieved impressive results, as the two countries have agreed on a number of new steps to boost military relations.
Marking a renewed effort to build trust between the two militaries, Chang and his US counterpart Chuck Hagel agreed to enhance military cooperation, expand defense exchanges and hold more joint exercises during their talks at the Pentagon on Monday.
The Chinese navy, at the invitation of the US, will join the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise, for the first time in 2014.
Given that in recent years the various US-led war games in the Asia-Pacific region have been widely perceived as targeting specific countries in the region, including China, inviting China to participate in the US-led war games could help disperse suspicion as it signals that both sides are now keen on deepening strategic mutual trust.
Chang's ongoing visit to the US is the second high-profile visit between the two militaries this year, following the trip of Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Beijing in April.
Both sides intend the consensus reached on Monday to elevate the bilateral military relationship to a new level for the sake of maintaining regional and global peace and stability.
During their summit in June in California, President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Barack Obama reached a consensus that the militaries of the two countries should build relations that help establish a new model for relations between two powers, one based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation. It is, therefore, good to see both countries are making concrete efforts in this direction.
To maintain sound and growing military-to-military ties, it is essential that both countries remain aware of the other's comfort zone and pay heed to each other's core interests and major concerns. Neither should pursue its own interests at the expense of the other's.
Hence, the US needs to rethink its attitude and actions regarding sensitive issues in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, as its meddling has complicated the situation in the region and touched upon what China deems as its core interests.
The US has plenty to do to convince the region that its strategic rebalancing is not detrimental to peace and development.
(China Daily 08/21/2013 page8)