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U.S. PACOM nominee plans to improve military to military relations with China

(Xinhua)

08:47, February 10, 2012

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Navy admiral nominated to become next commander of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) said on Thursday that he plans to improve military to military relationship with China, should the Congress greenlights the nomination.

Samuel Locklear III, who currently serves as commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, made the statement on Thursday during a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing. He will succeed Robert Willard at PACOM if the Senate approves his nomination.

He said that greater cooperation between the Chinese and U.S. militaries would serve to reduce tensions and give greater clarity and greater transparency to relations.

"It will be my plan to ... improve our mil-to-mil relationships with a recognition that there are things we won't agree on -- that greater transparency is good for all of us to avoid miscalculation, " said Locklear.

Recognizing China is the largest economy in Asia and is important to the United States in numerous respects, Locklear said that partnership with China would be "cooperative, but competitive. "

According to newly released U.S. defense strategy, the country' s security priorities are pivoting to the Asia Pacific. Locklear said that "we have interest in that part of the world. And I believe that the Chinese and other people in that part of the world need to recognize that we do have U.S. national interests there, and we have the interests of strong allies there."

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