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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
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.
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.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid