US, China agree to expand military ties

PTI Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 20, 2013

The US and China have agreed to expand military exchanges and exercises as part of efforts to build more stable bilateral ties amid tensions over cyber security.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan met here yesterday and pledged to strengthen bilateral military cooperation.

Hagel said that Washington is committed to a “positive and constructive relationship with China’’.

Hagel said that he and Chang wanted to build “a sustained, substantive military-to-military relationship” to bolster ties between the world’s two biggest economies. “Our goal is to build trust between our militaries through cooperation,” Hagel told reporters.

Chang stressed a similar theme of cooperation with the US in the Asia-Pacific.

As part of its goal to build trust between the militaries through cooperation, Hagel said the US for the first time has invited the Chinese Navy to join its largest multilateral naval exercise, RIMPAC. The exercises will take place next year.

“The United States welcomes and supports the rise of a prosperous and responsible China that help solve regional and global problems,” Hagel told reporters in a joint news conference with the Chinese Defence Minister General Chang Wanquan.

“This morning, General Chang and I have affirmed that we will continue expanding our defence exchanges and joint exercises. Earlier this summer, for the first time, Chinese midshipmen joined in a multinational exchange program at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis,” Hagel said.

Following the meeting, Hagel said the two leaders welcomed this recent establishment of the new US-China cyber working group as a venue for addressing issues of mutual concern in the area of cyber.

“We discussed a number of regional security issues, as well, including North Korea, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, and I reaffirmed longstanding US policies on these issues,” he said.

“With respect to competing maritime claims, I noted that while the United States does not take a position on sovereignty in these cases, we do have an interest in these claims being resolved peacefully, without coercion,” he said.

Published on August 20, 2013
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