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China should be more transparent about military: US

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Wallace "Chip" Gregson, assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.

WASHINGTON (PTI): Sharing concerns of many of China's neighbours in Asia, the US has said the Chinese military buildup far exceeds its defensive needs and asked Beijing to become more transparent with regard to its "military capabilities, expenditures and intentions."

"The US shares the concern of many in the region that this type of military buildup far exceeds China's defensive needs," Wallace "Chip" Gregson, Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, said.

It has become increasingly evident that China is pursuing a long-term, comprehensive military build-up that could upend the regional security balance, Gregson said, adding that many of China's newly acquired capabilities appear to go well beyond what might be needed in nearby waters.

"These are weapons we refer to as 'anti-access' and 'area-denial' systems or, in the acronym-rich Pentagon, 'A2/AD.'

"These are designed to deny access to the Western Pacific region or to deny the ability to operate within that vital area. A2/AD systems threaten our primary means of projecting power: our bases, our sea and air assets and the networks that support them," he said in his address to the Progressive Policy Institute's Forum on China, University of California Washington Centre.

During the defence consultative talks, both the United States and China expressed their views of the dangers that exist whenever the military-to-military relationship is suspended or fails to be implemented to its full potential, Gregson noted.

"Accordingly, both sides stressed the importance of moving the relationship beyond the on-again/off-again cycle.

We need to sustain a comprehensive dialogue, including through periods of disagreement," he said.

Following completion of the defence consultative talks, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates would be travelling to Beijing and Chinese President Hu Jintao would be coming to America on a State visit.

"These high-level visits will give our two nations an opportunity to set a tone of broader, more sustained engagement. The stakes here are very high," Gregson said.

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