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China visit was aimed at understanding its military strategy: Mullen

Chinese military tank

WASHINGTON (PTI): Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who recently visited China has said the main purpose of his visit was to understand the Chinese military strategy and express his concerns about their high-tech developments.

"One of the most important parts, or the reasons that I went to China was try to understand their strategy and what they're doing better and certainly continue to express both concerns about some of their highly technical developments", Mullen said during a media round table last week while he was in South Korea following his China trip.

Mullen said that though there is more transparency in Chinese military than it was before but it does not really mean that China's increasing military capabilities are only defensive in nature.

"I can tell you, having been there for almost four days, there is now more transparency from my perspective than there was before I visited. That's why the relationship-building is so important," Mullen told reporters in Japan, according to the transcripts released by the Pentagon here.

"I think that as we build this relationship and we have the exchanges and understand each other better, that issue of transparency will certainly fade. It hasn't faded as a result of a single visit," he said, adding the Chinese told them that their military capabilities are defensive in nature.

Mullen who visited several military bases in China said, "I did visit several of their bases, saw some of their equipment, their people, and as I said, General Chen emphasised these were all defensive in nature, along with the carrier".

Noting that he went to China to take a step in renewing the military-to-military relationship, Mullen said he has had a conversation on issues that they both agree and disagree on.

"From a long-term strategy, from my perspective it's too early to understand where China is really going with this.

They say it's defensive; we'll see. There are some pretty good capabilities there that certainly could be not just defensive, but offensive as well," Mullen added.

On China's increased military capability, Mullen said, "With this rising power and increased capability that China has, also from my perspective in economic growth, comes responsibility for regional stability, for global stability.

And certainly, that's a point of continuous emphasis in my discussions with them."


China  US  Mullen  

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