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Officials Map Next Steps in U.S.-Chinese Military Relations

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2013 – U.S. and Chinese officials mapped the next steps in the military-to-military relationship between their nations at the 14th annual defense consultative talks that ended in Beijing yesterday.

James N. Miller, the undersecretary of defense for policy, met with Lt. Gen. Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the People’s Liberation Army General Staff. The two men last met in July.

“We’re engaging the Chinese in a number of channels, … and we are working to build cooperation in areas of mutual interest,” Miller told reporters following the meeting. “We’re also discussing our differences and working to narrow them where we can. Where we can’t narrow the differences, at least we can understand each other’s perspectives better, and we’re working to reduce the chances of misunderstanding and miscalculations.”

The United States and China are the world’s two largest economies. The consultative talks on defense “looked for ways to build strategic trust and look for opportunities to build on cooperation in areas of mutual interest,” Miller said. This includes humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping and maritime safety, to name just a few, he added.

The talks sought to capitalize on recent cooperation. Last month, Chinese and U.S. forces completed a counterpiracy exercise in the Gulf of Aden, Miller noted, and China already has announced it will participate in the RIMPAC 2014 exercise in the Pacific Rim. The U.S. and Chinese teams also discussed the Chinese participating in other exercises, including multinational exercises such as Cobra Gold 2014, he said.

The talks covered maritime security in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and the two sides exchanged views on cyber, space, nuclear policy and missile defense” Miller said.

“I emphasized our grave concerns reference North Korea’s nuclear and missile developments,” the undersecretary said. “We called on China to pressure North Korea to return to a process of credible and authentic negotiations aimed at denuclearization.”


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