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US defense plan 'must be open'
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15:56, July 05, 2007

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Visiting Slovakian defense minister yesterday said China's policies have a direct impact on NATO members, and called for transparency in the US missile defense project because it is supposed to be based in neighboring Poland and the Czech Republic.

Frantisek Kasicky told China Daily that the constantly changing global security situation has prompted Slovakia to perceive the US proposal as a defensive shield against potential missile attacks.

"The missile defense project will undoubtedly have an effect on the security of all European states, members and non-members of North Atlantic Treaty Organization alike. Therefore we should emphasize the need for transparency when discussing this issue with NATO members, as well as Russia," he said.

"We believe the extent and nature of the planned defense system is for defense purposes and doesn't pose any threat to the security of Russia."

Kasicky said a new level of cooperation between China and NATO countries is needed for crisis management, reconstruction and development.

Beijing's policies have a direct impact on NATO members as the bloc gets more engaged in China's neighborhood, he said.

"China is an important player in today's increasingly interdependent and interconnected security order, and we are pleased to see China-NATO ties developing in the right direction gradually."

As a member of NATO, Slovakia will continue its efforts to improve military exchanges with China, as well as the bloc, Kasicky said.

Praising the development of Sino-Slovakian military ties, he said that since 2004 his country has sent six military officers to Guangzhou to learn kung-fu or Chinese martial arts. This year, Slovakia sent its first military doctor to Second Military Medical University in Shanghai to study traditional Chinese medicine.

"On the other hand, Chinese military officers have been visiting Slovakia every year to study our military experience and get to know our beautiful country," he said.

"We appreciate China's widening support and increasing contributions to the UN peacekeeping operations, especially in Sudan," said Kasicky, whose country is at present a temporary member of the UN Security Council.

"We hope to deepen the dialogue and cooperation on the future status of Kosovo so that we can reach a workable solution during China's presidency of the UN Security Council in July."

Kasicky reached Beijing on Sunday. He will leave for Shanghai tomorrow.

Source: China Daily/agencies



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