China can be an important part of multilateral cooperation in Asia Pacific, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Saturday in Singapore.
"The United States and many other nations in the region seek to cooperate with China in many fields -- diplomacy, economics and global security," he noted.
He added that many of these countries "support the development of Asia-Pacific structures that advance the goal of a region that is peaceful, prosperous and free."
He was speaking at the fourth Asia Security Conference organized by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
The three-day conference, also known as Shangri-la Dialogue, attracted more than 200 participants from over 20 countries and regions from Asia Pacific, North America and Europe.
The security conference, which opened on Friday, has been held annually in Singapore's Shangri-la hotel since 2002.