U.S., China Affirm Military Ties During Hu Visit to Washington

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2011 — The Unit­ed States and Chi­na have affirmed that a healthy, sta­ble and reli­able mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary rela­tion­ship is an essen­tial part of a shared vision for a pos­i­tive U.S.-China rela­tion­ship, Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma and Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Hu Jin­tao said in a joint state­ment issued today.

Hu is pay­ing a state vis­it to the Unit­ed States Jan. 18 to 21, and the state­ment came on the sec­ond day of his trip, which includ­ed meet­ings with Oba­ma and a joint press con­fer­ence.

“Both sides agreed on the need for enhanced and sub­stan­tive dia­logue and com­mu­ni­ca­tion at all lev­els: to reduce mis­un­der­stand­ing, mis­per­cep­tion, and mis­cal­cu­la­tion; to fos­ter greater under­stand­ing and expand mutu­al inter­est; and to pro­mote the healthy, sta­ble, and reli­able devel­op­ment of the mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary rela­tion­ship,” Oba­ma and Hu said in their state­ment.

U.S. Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates recent­ly met with Hu in Chi­na dur­ing a recent tour of East Asia to dis­cuss secu­ri­ty issues. Gates attend­ed Hu’s arrival cer­e­mo­ny today. Oba­ma and Hu termed Gates’ vis­it to Chi­na “suc­cess­ful” and not­ed the Unit­ed States will in turn wel­come the Chief of the People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Gen­er­al Staff Gen. Chen Bingde to the Unit­ed States in the first half of 2011.

In the joint state­ment, the two sides also reaf­firmed that the Defense Con­sul­ta­tive Talks, the Defense Pol­i­cy Coor­di­na­tion Talks, and the Mil­i­tary Mar­itime Con­sul­ta­tive Agree­ment will remain impor­tant chan­nels of com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the future. Both sides will work to exe­cute the sev­en pri­or­i­ty areas for devel­op­ing mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary rela­tions as agreed to by Gates and Gen. Xu Cai­hou, vice chair­man of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion in Octo­ber 2009.

Dur­ing the joint press con­fer­ence today, Oba­ma said he also has con­veyed to the Chi­nese pres­i­dent “that that we appre­ci­at­ed China’s role in reduc­ing ten­sions on the Kore­an Penin­su­la, and we agreed that North Korea must avoid fur­ther provo­ca­tions.”

“I also said that North Korea’s nuclear and bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­gram is increas­ing­ly a direct threat to the secu­ri­ty of the Unit­ed States and our allies,” Oba­ma added. ” We agreed that the para­mount goal must be com­plete denu­cleariza­tion of the penin­su­la. In that regard, the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty must con­tin­ue to state clear­ly that North Korea’s ura­ni­um enrich­ment pro­gram is in vio­la­tion of North Korea’s com­mit­ments and inter­na­tion­al oblig­a­tions.”

Dis­cus­sions between Oba­ma and Hu also includ­ed oth­er glob­al secu­ri­ty issues.

“With respect to glob­al secu­ri­ty, I’m pleased that we’re mov­ing ahead with Pres­i­dent Hu’s com­mit­ment at last year’s Nuclear Secu­ri­ty Sum­mit for Chi­na to estab­lish a cen­ter of excel­lence, which will help secure the world’s vul­ner­a­ble nuclear mate­ri­als,” Oba­ma said dur­ing the press con­fer­ence.

“To pre­vent the spread of nuclear weapons, we agreed that Iran must uphold its inter­na­tion­al oblig­a­tions and that the U.N. Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil sanc­tions on Iran must be ful­ly enforced.”

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

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