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Talks advanced U.S.-China military ties
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
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
“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
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.”
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