USA/China — DOD News Briefing with Under Secretary Flournoy from the Pentagon

MS. FLOURNOY: Good after­noon. Sor­ry to keep you wait­ing. I just con­clud­ed a very fruit­ful day of meet­ings with Gen­er­al Ma, who’s the deputy chief of the PLA gen­er­al staff and who came to Wash­ing­ton with his team for the 11th round of the U.S.-China Defense Con­sul­ta­tive Talks.
We had a very enjoy­able din­ner last night, host­ed by the Chi­nese ambas­sador at his — at his res­i­dence. And I look for­ward to rec­i­p­ro­cat­ing tonight with a din­ner for Gen­er­al Ma at the U.S. Capi­tol.

This has been my sec­ond round of talks with Gen­er­al Ma, and I’m very pleased about the sub­stance and the can­dor of our dis­cus­sions. This meet­ing was real­ly part of a restart of the U.S.-China mil-to-mil rela­tion­ship. And it’s a very impor­tant one. We dis­cussed the rela­tion­ship itself, which was an inte­gral part of our pos­i­tive, coop­er­a­tive and com­pre­hen­sive bilat­er­al rela­tion­ship with Chi­na.

We reaf­firmed sev­en points of con­sen­sus that Sec­re­tary Gates and Chi­nese Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion Vice Chair­man Gen­er­al Xu achieved when Gen­er­al Xu was here in the Unit­ed States last year. And we dis­cussed how to devel­op a more durable frame­work to shift the mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary rela­tion­ship to a more sus­tained and reli­able and con­tin­u­ous foot­ing.

We dis­cussed the impor­tance of mar­itime safe­ty and of main­tain­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion when inci­dents arise, and we agreed to con­tin­ue mak­ing progress under what we call the MMCA, the Mil­i­tary Mar­itime Con­sul­ta­tive Agree­ment.

We also dis­cussed avenues of coop­er­a­tion across a broad range of region­al secu­ri­ty issues, includ­ing Africa, North Korea, Afghanistan, Pak­istan and Iran. And on the lat­ter point, I high­light­ed China’s pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tions in sup­port of the P5-plus‑1 process and in imple­ment­ing U.N. sanc­tions against Iran.

We also exchanged views on the U.S. Nuclear Pos­ture Review and our Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile Defense Review reports, both of which were pub­lished ear­li­er this year. And we dis­cussed the impor­tance of Chi­na con­tin­u­ing to make progress in improv­ing its open­ness and trans­paren­cy in defense mat­ters.

We also dis­cussed the upcom­ing vis­it to Chi­na by Sec­re­tary Gates and state — the state vis­it to the Unit­ed States by Pres­i­dent Hu. And we believe that today’s meet­ing will help con­tribute to set­ting a pos­i­tive tone and cre­at­ing suc­cess in both of these events.

So in sum, these were very pos­i­tive dis­cus­sions. While I won’t say that we agreed on every issue, where we did dif­fer, we had a very can­did and frank and pro­duc­tive exchange of views. These kinds of talks, I believe, con­tribute to improv­ing the basis for a more coop­er­a­tive rela­tion­ship between our two coun­tries and our two mil­i­taries over time.

So with that, let me take your ques­tions. I know that Bryan — STAFF: We’ll take three or four real quick, and get you out of here. So let’s go ahead and get start­ed.

Luis, you got the first one.

Q: Ms. Flournoy, can we ask you what were some of those issues that — where you did not agree and where you did have frank and can­did dis­cus­sions?

MS. FLOURNOY: Well, I think that there are issues that we have worked on over time, such as mar­itime safe­ty and secu­ri­ty, where we both agree on the impor­tance of safe­ty and secu­ri­ty. We both agree on the impor­tance of abid­ing by inter­na­tion­al law and norms. And yet at times, there are inci­dents or activ­i­ties that occur where we have a dif­fer­ence of per­spec­tive. And we need an oppor­tu­ni­ty to air those views. The MMCA offers that avenue at the sort of tac­ti­cal and oper­a­tional lev­el. And our talks today real­ly allowed us to dis­cuss these issues at a much more strate­gic lev­el.

STAFF: Thom, go ahead, and then we’ll go to Justin.

Q: Thank you, Madam Sec­re­tary. You men­tioned North Korea was on the agen­da. Can you describe what you might have asked the Chi­nese to do to help resolve the ten­sions on the penin­su­la, and do you think they’re doing enough? And do you leave today expect­ing them to do some­thing spe­cif­ic to help?

MS. FLOURNOY: Well, Chi­na has been a very impor­tant part­ner his­tor­i­cal­ly with regard to deal­ing with North Korea, par­tic­u­lar­ly in peri­ods where it has been — shown provoca­tive behav­ior. So we dis­cussed our com­mon inter­est in peace and sta­bil­i­ty in the region. We dis­cussed the impor­tance of North Korea end­ing its provoca­tive behav­ior. We dis­cussed the impor­tance of get­ting back to — get­ting North Korea back on a path to demon­strat­ing its will­ing­ness to denu­clearize.

And so it was a very pro­duc­tive “com­par­ing of notes,” if you will, on the sit­u­a­tion, rec­og­niz­ing that that dia­logue will also be hap­pen­ing in oth­er non­mil­i­tary chan­nels as well.

Q: You men­tioned open­ness and trans­paren­cy came up. I won­der if the April 8th inci­dent, where Chi­na tem­porar­i­ly took over 15 per­cent of the world’s Inter­net and rout­ed traf­fic through their servers, I won­der if that came up at the time. The Pen­ta­gon said they weren’t aware of any mali­cious intent asso­ci­at­ed with that. Did you ask about that? What was behind that?

MS. FLOURNOY: Well, the open­ness and trans­paren­cy we — dis­cus­sion we had today was real­ly with regard to our strate­gic poli­cies, our defense capa­bil­i­ties devel­op­ment, our broad­er defense doc­trine and so forth. So it was — it — while we specif­i­cal­ly dis­cussed our Nuclear Pos­ture Review, Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile Defense Review and Space Pos­ture Review on our side, and they shared with us some of their think­ing on their strat­e­gy and capa­bil­i­ties devel­op­ment. But we did not get specif­i­cal­ly into that issue. STAFF: We’ll take a cou­ple more. Let’s go Vio­la and down to Al.

Q: Sec­re­tary Flournoy, do you feel like you’ve moved the ball for­ward in — if is the 11th round of talks like this? The U.S. has been con­cerned for a long time about Chi­nese trans­paren­cy. Do you feel like you moved the ball on any of these issues, and what specif­i­cal­ly?

And in rela­tion to trans­paren­cy, did you give them any infor­ma­tion to sort of demon­strate U.S. trans­paren­cy, any infor­ma­tion that they may not have had in the past, for exam­ple, or to per­suade them on North Korea, for exam­ple?

MS. FLOURNOY: I do think we moved the ball for­ward. And we have seen some grad­ual increas­es in China’s trans­paren­cy and also in their can­dor with us on a vari­ety of top­ics, par­tic­u­lar­ly the — I’m speak­ing here of the Chi­nese mil­i­tary.

And, you know, we gave them the same NPR, BMDR, Space Pos­ture Review brief­in­gs that we gave our clos­est allies. So part of what we were doing today was mod­el­ing trans­paren­cy. And they gave us a very inter­est­ing brief about their defense doc­trine and their — how they view the world and the role of their mil­i­tary in it. So in that sense, I think it was a step for­ward and very — very use­ful.

I also feel that the tone of the dis­cus­sions was more pos­i­tive, more frank. We are more able to dis­cuss our dif­fer­ences in a very pro­fes­sion­al and sub­stan­tive and, frankly, for me, enlight­en­ing way. And that’s a step for­ward.

STAFF: Al, you’ve got the last one.

Q Madam Sec­re­tary, do you feel that — did you get any com­mit­ment, let me say, from the Chi­nese on what you called estab­lish­ing a durable frame­work for — on a more sus­tained foot­ing, so that we don’t have these breaks, these freezes in rela­tions?

And also, could you give us some details about what con­cerns either were alle­vi­at­ed or that you still have regard­ing Chi­nese capa­bil­i­ty devel­op­ment?

MS. FLOURNOY: Well, I think that we did agree to a frame­work of activ­i­ties and dia­logue for the com­ing year, includ­ing some high-lev­el vis­its, like Sec­re­tary Gates’ vis­it next — ear­ly next year. And there’s a whole slate of oth­er vis­its and exchanges that we hope will occur, as well as a num­ber of dia­logues that we will — we hope will meet sev­er­al times.

We’re still flesh­ing out the details of that work plan, if you will. But we heard the Chi­nese also embrace the idea of the val­ue of hav­ing a steady and reli­able and sus­tained dia­logue. And that was very good news to us.

Q: But it’s not a com­mit­ment.

MS. FLOURNOY: Well, I think there are cer­tain things we’ve com­mit­ted to. We’re work­ing through the cal­en­dar, and we still have to reach agree­ment on some of the more dis­tant events in the future.

Q: And I’d asked about the capa­bil­i­ties you’re con­cerned about?

MS. FLOURNOY: You know, I think that we had some good dis­cus­sions about, frankly, con­cerns that we have and con­cerns that they have, on both sides. Again, I would­n’t high­light spe­cif­ic capa­bil­i­ties as much as the need to be able to have fora where we can dis­cuss — bet­ter under­stand their capa­bil­i­ties devel­op­ment and, most impor­tant­ly, their intent and how this fits into their strat­e­gy and their doc­trine.

STAFF: Well, thank you. I know it’s 6 p.m., and I thank you for stay­ing around for tonight’s brief­ing.

MS. FLOURNOY: Thank you.

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

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →