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US, China affirm military ties

US President Obama with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao. A US DoD photo.

WASHINGTON (PTI): US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao have affirmed that a healthy, stable and reliable military-to-military relationship is an essential part of a shared vision for a positive US-China relationship.

"The United States and China affirmed that a healthy, stable, and reliable military-to-military relationship is an essential part of President Obama’s and President Hu’s shared vision for a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive US-China relationship," Hu and Obama said in a joint statement.

"Both sides agreed on the need for enhanced and substantive dialogue and communication at all levels: to reduce misunderstanding, misperception, and miscalculation; to foster greater understanding and expand mutual interest; and to promote the healthy, stable, and reliable development of the military-to-military relationship," the joint statement said.

The two Presidents noted the successful visit of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to China earlier this month, and that the United States welcomes Chief of the PLA General Staff General Chen Bingde to the United States in the first half of 2011.

"Both sides reaffirmed that the Defense Consultative Talks, the Defense Policy Coordination Talks, and the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement will remain important channels of communication in the future," the joint statement said.

"Both sides will work to execute the seven priority areas for developing military-to-military relations as agreed to by Secretary Gates and General Xu Caihou, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission in October 2009," it said.

Earlier at a joint news conference with Hu, Obama said to advance their shared security, the two countries are expanding and deepening dialogue and cooperation between the militaries, which increases trust and reduces misunderstandings.

"The two sides believe that the expansion of exchanges and cooperation between our militaries contribute to deepening mutual trust between our two countries and to the growth of our overall relationship," Hu said.


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