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U.S. strategic shift to Asia-Pacific provides opportunity to improve ties with China: Dempsey

(Xinhua)

08:23, February 20, 2012

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. military's strategic shift to the Asia-Pacific region provides an opportunity to improve the U.S. relations with China, Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Sunday.

Speaking during an interview with the U.S. TV news network CNN, the top U.S. military officer said that the U.S. military has " taken a decision to rebalance ourselves toward the Pacific" in a re-strategy move.

"I think this is more opportunity than liability to improve our relationship with China, and I am personally committed to having that as the outcome rather than get into an arms race or into some kind of confrontation with China," Dempsey said.

The Obama administration has launched with a big fanfare its " Pivot to Asia" strategic shift since late last year, arousing widespread suspicion that the U.S. move is aimed at containing the rise of China, whose influence in the Asia-Pacific region has been rapidly increasing to counterbalance the U.S. dominance.

During the Feb. 13-17 visit to the U.S. by China's Vice President Xi Jinping, the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to further boost their cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. They also agreed to promote the steady and sound development of bilateral military ties based on the principle of mutual respect, mutual trust, reciprocity and mutual benefit.

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