Sino-US military relations rely on efforts from both sides: Chinese official
( Source: Xinhua ) 2010-June-6 07:37
SINGAPORE, June 5 (Xinhua) -- A sustained and reliable military- to-military relations between China and the United States should be established by efforts from both sides, a senior Chinese military official said here on Saturday.
China-U.S. relationship is among one of the most important bilateral relations, Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army said at a question and answer session of the 9th Asian Security Summit.
He noted that China has always attached great importance to building an all-round sound relationship with the United States, including the bilateral military ties. However, national defense officials from both countries find that the military exchanges are lagging behind the communication in other areas.
Since the establishment of bilateral ties between the two countries, the bilateral military ties have not escaped a strange circle, which is "development, standstill, another development, another standstill," Ma said. He said that both parties have tried to break the curse but failed to achieve obvious breakthrough.
Speaking on U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates' remarks about a "sustained and reliable military-to-military contacts," Ma said that efforts should be made by both countries, but not just by one side.
There are some main obstacles in the development of bilateral military relations, such as the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, frequent reconnaissance by the U.S. naval ships and aircraft in the waters and airspace of China's exclusive economic zones, according to Ma.
"So the barrier between U.S.-China military relations is not built by China." Ma stressed.
"U.S. arms sales to Taiwan is not just an ordinary issue," he said. "The United States said that it does not support independence for Taiwan. We hope this is not what the United States says, but also what it does."
According to the U.S.-China joint communique of August 17, 1982, the U.S. stated in the cummunique its intention to gradually reduce the level of arms sales to the Taiwan, the quality and quantity of the arm sales to Taiwan will not exceed the previous level, and will eventually figure out ways to resolve the issue. However, Ma said that the United States has sticked to its old path and the arms sales remained to be a "serious issue" disturbing the U.S.- China relations over the past 30 years.
Ma said that the arms sales issue concerns about strategic mutual trust, political foundation of bilateral cooperation, as well as the commitment to the responsibility of the communique. He added that America's neglect of its responsibilities has undoubtedly affected the military cooperation between the two sides.
Ma also stated that the communication between the two militaries has not been suspended as claimed by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He said the exchanges only paused in certain areas such as high level visits, but the two sides still exchange views in other areas which we think are important.