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Military ties in focus before summit

By Zhao Shengnan  (China Daily)

08:39, May 29, 2013

China and the United States pledged on Tuesday to boost military ties during a visit to Beijing by a senior US official in preparation for a summit in June between the two countries' top leaders.

Experts said that military relations between the world's two largest economies have been warming up recently. Washington has gradually realized the importance of the relations to achieve regional stability as it carries out its Asia-Pacific "pivot" policy, they added.

"Both countries' defense departments and militaries should strengthen communication and cooperation," Fan Changlong, vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, told Tom Donilon, US national security adviser.

Donilon was on the last day of a three-day trip ahead of the planned meeting between President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama on June 7 and 8 in California.

The top task for the two militaries is now to implement their leaders' consensus to improve military ties, said Fan. This means building a new type of military relationship that is free of a zero-sum mindset and that is in accordance with the development of overall relations, he said.

Donilon called for both countries to improve strategic communication and cooperation in "non-traditional security challenges", including peacekeeping, disaster relief operations and actions against piracy, to reduce differences, avoid misjudgment and jointly address regional security problems.

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