News / Asia

Pentagon Official: China Showing New Assertiveness in Asia

TEXT SIZE - +
David Dyar

A top Pentagon official urged China on Thursday to resume military-to-military exchanges to help minimize the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculation.  

U.S. Department of Defense Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia, Michael Schiffer, said China's military recently has been more assertive in and around Asia, particularly in the South China Sea and the western Pacific Ocean. "This assertiveness has caused concern among China's neighbors in the region as well as in the United States, given that in addition to the economic and diplomatic influence that China is now seeking to wield.  China's military capabilities are on the rise now as well," he said.

Schiffer said the situation requires stronger security reassurances for countries in Asia through multilateral forums such as ASEAN.  He added that China should respond to U.S. calls for more transparency with regard to its military budget and intentions.  

Schiffer told an Asia policy forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars here in Washington that more U.S.-China military cooperation is needed. "We believe that a robust military-to-military relationship helps minimize the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculation as U.S. and Chinese interests continue to intersect and as our forces come into closer operational proximity," he said.

Schiffer urged China to return to implementing a plan that was reached between Beijing and Washington last year to improve military-to-military relations.

Last October, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Xu Caihou, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission agreed to hold several high-level military exchanges this year.  According to the agreement, Gates was supposed to visit China.  And both sides were looking toward stepping up military cooperation in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as well as conducting joint maritime search and rescue missions.

China blames the United States for the stalled relationship.  Beijing suspended military-to-military ties in January after Washington approved an arms package to Taiwan worth more than $6 billion.  The Pentagon has publicly called for the resumption of military-to-military ties with China.  

In late May, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Robert Willard, met with Lieutenant General Ma Xiaotian in Beijing -- the highest level military meeting between the two sides since late last year.  U.S. Defense Secretary Gates was to have visited China during the past month, but Beijing and Washington could not agree on a date.

At the Asia policy conference, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg noted that although China and the United States have areas of disagreement, they are also finding ways to cooperate.

Steinberg noted that on two pressing issues during the past 18 months, Iran and North Korea, China has played an important role in passing United Nations sanctions against both countries.

"The success that we have had to date, both in enacting, first resolution 1874 last June and resolution 1929 this month, reflect the deep engagement that we've had with China and the recognition that we need to work together and that we have common interests in this," he said.

Schiffer noted that there are few global issues that would not benefit from greater cooperation between China and the United States.  He said that because China has benefitted from peace and prosperity in Asia, it has a vested interest in helping to ensure that stability and economic development in the region continue.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid