U.S., China should stick to policies conducive to military relations, says defense minister

10:23, June 04, 2011      

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The United States and China should establish and stick to conducive policies to keep the relations between their militaries healthy and stable, Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said on Friday.

Meeting his U.S. counterpart Robert Gates on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Liang said it is an important topic shared by both China and the United States to keep the relations between the two militaries stable and healthy, especially at a time of complex and deep changes in the international and regional security situation.

It is also a topic where the international community follows the developments closely, he said.

Liang and Gates held sincere and in-depth discussions on the relations between the militaries and other topics that both sides care about.

Liang said the relations between the two militaries have been rebounding, creating opportunities for further development.

The presidents of the two countries reached important consensus in early 2011 on building a cooperative partnership of mutual respect and mutual benefit, setting a clear direction for the relations between their militaries. General Chen Bingde, Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China, also reached important consensus with U.S. military leaders on his recent visit to the United States, taking the relations further forward, Liang said.

Both the United States and China should establish policies that are conducive to the development of the relations between their militaries and stick to them so as to push them further forward, Liang said.

They should sincerely regard each other as cooperation partners, but not opponents, so as to have healthy interactions, he said.

Liang also said the two sides should also take it as truly important to boost the practical cooperation in defense and security, and that they should start with easier part to gradually boost the dialogue under various mechanisms, the exchanges in professional areas and the cooperation in non-traditional areas such as humanitarian rescue and relief and anti-piracy.

Gates said he was glad to meet Liang and that the bilateral relations have been on a positive track over the past half year.

It is the shared vision of both countries that their militaries should have healthy, stable, reliable and sustainable relations. They should enhance cooperation where common interests are shared, and dialogue where there are differences, thus showing the world the benefit of mutually beneficial cooperation, he said.

Gates also said that his successors will continue to push forward the bilateral ties.

The Shangri-La Dialogue is organized by the London-based think tank Institute of International Strategic Studies. The regional security summit gathers defense ministers from the region and beyond, including the United States, China, Japan and India.

Liang also held bilateral meetings with Singapore's Acting Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and the defense ministers of Vietnam and India on Friday.

Source: Xinhua

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