News / USA

US, China Seek Harmony in Military Ties

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, left, and China's Gen. Chen Bingde speak during a media availability at the Pentagon, Washington, May 18, 2011
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, left, and China's Gen. Chen Bingde speak during a media availability at the Pentagon, Washington, May 18, 2011
William Ide

The United States and China held their highest-level military talks in seven years this week in Washington, during the visit of the chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army, General Chen Bingde. While military ties between the two countries have long lagged behind stronger relations in business and other areas, and pointed differences of view remain, the two sides say the frank talks have helped build understanding. 

Getting military-to-military ties more in tune with each other's views and interests was one of the main objectives of talks and exchanges this week between the U.S. and China. In addition to a joint performance by the two countries' bands, there were in-depth discussions between General Chen and his U.S. counterpart, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"I think the opportunity that is presented by virtue of us meeting and having these discussions is to validate our assumptions about each other," he said.

The threat that China's growing military might poses to the United States and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region is one big concern, and an area where assumptions differ.

General Chen dismissed such concerns at a news conference at the Pentagon Wednesday. He said a 20-year gap exists between the U.S. and Chinese militaries.

"Through my visits in the United States over the past couple days, I have been surprised by the sophistication of the U.S. military and its weapons and doctrines and so on," he said. "I can tell you that China does not have the capability to challenge the United States."

U.S. arms sales to Taiwan are a key issue of contention that General Chen raised, as well as the need for the U.S. to respect what China calls its "core interests."

China regards the self-ruled island as part of its own territory, and Chen repeated at the news conference that China would use force, if necessary, to ensure that the two unify.

However, General Chen said the fruits of these talks far outweigh the challenges.

"As I see it, cooperation is the mainstream between our two countries and two militaries," said General Chen. "We share a broad consensus on some major issues. Certainly we disagree on some other issues."

China froze military ties for most of 2010 after the United States approved a $6.4 billion arms deal with Taiwan. But in January of this year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited China, and relations appear to be on the mend.

Still, the United States is reviewing a proposed deal to sell Taiwan advanced F-16 fighter jets. General Chen said that if the deal is approved, it will definitely have an impact on U.S. China relations.

Admiral Mullen says Chen invited him to visit China during their talks and that he plans to do so in the near future. During their talks, the two sides agreed to hold a disaster and humanitarian relief exercise next year as well as boost maritime cooperation including holding a counter-piracy exercise.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid