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China, US seek stronger military ties
www.chinaview.cn 2005-02-01 19:04:23

    By Xiong Zhengyan

    BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese Defense Ministry and its US counterpart rounded off their first special policy dialogue here Tuesday with both voicing their satisfactions, a sign of warming ties between two militaries of the two countries.

    The two-day closed-door talk covered a wide range of issues, including the Taiwan issue, maritime military security and exchange programs in 2005, said a Chinese military spokesman Tu Qiming, who is in charge of the American and Oceanian affairs in the Foreign Affairs Office (FAO) under the Chinese Defense Ministry.

    The two sides had "a very clear and direct exchange," said Deputy Under Secretary of US Defense Ministry Richard Lawless, who was leading the US side in this security dialogue.

    We are "pleasantly surprised and pleased" with many issues being discussed and we know we are "successful in some areas," said Lawless, who is responsible for the Asia Pacific region in the US defense ministry.

    The Chinese side is satisfied with the dialogue, as the meeting was conducted in a "candid, cooperative and constructive" atmosphere and the result is "fruitful," Tu gave a media briefing,after Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Xiong Guangkai held a talk with Lawless Tuesday morning.

    The US officials here are "very representative, which demonstrates our desire to have a very good exchange," Lawless told Xiong, adding the United States would like to push forward the military exchanges at various levels.

    Noting the Taiwan issue remains "the biggest factor" affecting China-US relations, Xiong said China hopes the United States will honor its commitment to adhering to the one-China policy, observing the three Sino-US joint communiques and opposing "Taiwan independence".

    Lawless said the United States "hopes the Taiwan issue can be peacefully resolved."

    According to Tu's briefing Monday, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld expressed the interest to visit China this year, but the exact date was still under discussion.

    "Both sides agreed to promote their military ties through more pragmatic exchanges," Tu said.

    This year will see exchanges of top military officials, professional staffs and military institutions between the two militaries, Tu said.

    Citing the on-going communication between the two ministries as"smooth," Tu said installing a hotline between the two ministries is under discussion.

    Tu also said the two sides did not touch upon the European Union's arms embargo against China or nuclear issues on the KoreanPeninsula.

    Last week, a US delegation headed by former US Defense Secretary William Perry came to east China's Shanghai for a seminar on Sino-US security.

    Perry was also hosted by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan. Enditem


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