Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan (R) and visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (L) shake hands during a press conference in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 5, 2007.(Xinhua Photo)
BEIJING, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States agreed on Monday to open a direct telephone line between the defense ministries of the two countries.
Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan and visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates made the announcement at a joint press briefing after holding talks in Beijing on Monday morning.
The Sino-U.S. military hot line is the first of its kind that China has established with another country at the defense ministry level.
Discussions on setting up the military hot line have been ongoing since Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President George W. Bush agreed to advance bilateral military relations during their meeting in April 2006.
The creation of the military hot line will help enhance mutual trust between the militaries and promote the development of military-to-military relations between China and the United States, said Tao Wenzhao, a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences researcher.
Besides the hot line, the two ministers also agreed to continue to strengthen dialogue and exchange at various levels and cultural exchanges. These will include exchanges between military academies and young officers and holding exercises on humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
The defense ministries of the two countries will also launch military archives cooperation so as to help find U.S. military personnel missing in action in China before and after the Korean War.
"The military-to-military relations between China and the United States has grown in recent years. China is willing to join hands with the United States, properly handle disputes and friction, and make a sound and stable development of the military relations," Cao said during the talks.
Gates said the two armed forces have maintained an active momentum in the development of military relations and were facing an important opportunity to expand exchanges in various fields.
On bilateral relations, Cao said the Sino-U.S. relations are facing important opportunities for further development as well as some challenges. The two countries should make joint efforts to properly deal with the challenges, and promote a sound and stable development of bilateral relations.
Gates said the United States and China, as two countries with major influence, have done effective work on international and regional issues, and have made positive contributions to maintaining regional and world peace and stability.
The aim of the visit is to deepen dialogues and expand consensus between the two countries, and to boost common interest of the two countries, he said.
China, U.S. defense leaders hold talks
BEIJING, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan held talks with visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates here Monday morning.
The talks were expected to cover such topics as the international and regional security situation, military-to-military relations and other issues of common concern. Full story
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BEIJING, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- At the invitation of Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan, the United States Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates arrived here Sunday night, kicking off his first official visit to China.
During his three-day China tour, Gates will hold talks with Cao, who is also vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission and state councilor, and meet with top Chinese leaders and Foreign Ministry officials, according to the Chinese Defense Ministry. Full story