Obama seeks stronger U.S.-China military ties: newspaper

15:35, October 16, 2009      

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An expanded relationship between U.S. and China militaries could be top of President Barack Obama's agenda when he visits China next month, the Washington Post said Thursday.

During his trip to China, the president would seek to strengthen ties with Beijing on efforts to combat climate change, address the global financial crisis and the nuclear issues of the Korean Peninsula and Iran.

"Perhaps most important, he also aims to improve the U.S. relationship with China's military," the newspaper said.

"China is reemerging as a great power," Michael Schiffer, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, was quoted assaying.

"Our militaries are coming into increasing proximity and increasing interactions. But we don't have any good mechanism to help us clarify misunderstandings," he said.

There were two reasons for the United States to forge closer ties with the Chinese military, the newspaper said.

The first was "the realization that every crisis between the United States and China has involved the nations' militaries."

The second was the conclusion that "the People's Liberation Army wants to expand its activities around the world as China expands its international investments".

The report also listed China's concerns in the development of U.S.-China military ties, including U.S. arms sale to Taiwan and U.S. reconnaissance vessels' intrusions into China's exclusive economic zone.

Source: Xinhua
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