Pentagon Talks Advance U.S.-China Military Ties

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2010 — The Pentagon’s pol­i­cy chief believes the Defense Con­sul­ta­tive Talks between the U.S. and Chi­na here today moved the ball for­ward in fos­ter­ing Chi­nese can­dor and trans­paren­cy.
Michele Flournoy, the under­sec­re­tary of defense for pol­i­cy, said her talks with Gen­er­al Ma Xiaot­ian in the Pen­ta­gon real­ly re-start­ed the U.S.-China mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary rela­tion­ship. Ma is the deputy chief of the Peo­ples’ Lib­er­a­tion Army’s Gen­er­al Staff. It was the 11th round of the U.S.-China Defense Con­sul­ta­tive Talks.

“We dis­cussed the rela­tion­ship itself, an inte­gral part of our pos­i­tive, coop­er­a­tive and com­pre­hen­sive bilat­er­al rela­tion­ship with Chi­na,” the under­sec­re­tary said. “We also dis­cussed how to devel­op a more durable frame­work to shift the military–to-military rela­tion­ship to a more sus­tained and reli­able and con­tin­u­ous foot­ing.” The two sides dis­cussed mar­itime safe­ty and region­al issues includ­ing secu­ri­ty con­cerns about Africa, North Korea, Afghanistan-Pak­istan and Iran. Flournoy thanked the Chi­nese for their efforts in the Unit­ed Nations on the Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil sanc­tions against Iran and its nuclear ambitions. 

Ma and Flournoy exchanged views on the U.S. nuclear pos­ture review and bal­lis­tic mis­sile defense report. They dis­cussed the impor­tance of Chi­na con­tin­u­ing to make progress in improv­ing its open­ness and trans­paren­cy in defense mat­ters, Flournoy said. 

The talks pave the way for Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates’ vis­it to Chi­na in Jan­u­ary. “These were pos­i­tive dis­cus­sions,” she said. “While I won’t say we agreed on every issue, where we did dif­fer we had a very can­did, frank and pro­duc­tive exchange. These talks form the basis for a more pro­duc­tive rela­tion­ship between our two coun­tries and our two mil­i­taries over time.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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