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US Wants A More Transparent China


The top U.S. military commander in the Pacific says the United States wants to continue good relations with China, but he expressed concerns about Beijing's lack of transparency. VOA's Nancy-Amelia Collins in Jakarta has more.

Admiral Timothy Keating told journalists in Indonesia that it is important for the United States to keep the lines of communication open with China.

"We have had some very interesting, if not entirely fruitful dialogue with our Chinese colleagues," Keating said. "We have expressed to them our concerns for their development of certain kinds of weapons, area denial weapons and satellite technology, and the growth of their submarine force for example. They counter by telling us they only want to protect those things that are theirs, which is fair enough, as far as it goes."

Washington expressed concerns after the release last month of a Pentagon report that stated China had boosted its total military spending in 2007 to more than twice its declared budget.

Keating said chief among those concerns is China's military aims and lack of transparency.

"We, the Pacific Command, seek not just transparency, but clearer intention expressed by our Chinese colleagues and it is our firm desire and intention to continue to dialogue with our Chinese colleagues so as to develop a better understanding of their intention ... they profess to seek a peaceful rise and harmonious integration ... they have to show us, in our view, how they intend to achieve that while developing these weapons. We think there is some contradiction in their stated goal versus the practice they are observing," Keating said.

Admiral Keating, who is making his second trip to Indonesia in just more than a year, also expressed support for U.S.-Indonesian ties and said relations between the two countries are solid and secure.

The United States says Indonesia, which has the largest population of Muslims in the world, is an important ally and partner in the war on terror.