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Monday, January 10, 2011

China -US seek to 'reduce misculation'

Sino-US militaries seek to 'reduce miscalculation'

By Li Xiaokun and Cheng Guangjin (China Daily) Updated: 2011-01-11 07:28

Sino-US militaries seek to 'reduce miscalculation'

Defense Minister Liang Guanglie and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates attend a welcome ceremony in Beijing on Monday. [Photo/Agencies]
China reiterates opposition to US arms sales to island

BEIJING - China and the United States on Monday agreed to jointly reduce the risk of "miscalculation" between the two powerful armed forces, as they restore military ties frayed by a massive US arms deal to Taiwan a year ago. 

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Defense Minister Liang Guanglie, however, reiterated China's opposition to US arms sales to Taiwan, an issue which visiting US Defense Secretary Robert Gates sidestepped.
Liang and Gates, after a morning of talks, announced during a joint news conference at the headquarters of China's Central Military Commission that they agreed to explore ways to reduce "misunderstanding" and "miscalculation". 

"We are in strong agreement that in order to reduce the chances of miscommunication, misunderstanding or miscalculation, it is important that our military-to-military ties are solid, consistent and not subject to shifting political winds," Gates told reporters.

Gates also invited the chief of the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) general staff to visit Washington in the first half of this year. 

Liang said they had "agreed that sustained and reliable military-to-military contacts will help reduce misunderstanding and miscalculation". 

Both sides should join hands in the spirit of "respect, mutual trust, equality and reciprocity" to ensure the healthy and steady development of the relationship, he added. 

Liang said that Chief of General Staff of the PLA Chen Bingde will visit the US in the first half of 2011, adding that exchanges of high-level officials and between educational institutions will continue. 

On US arms sales to Taiwan, Liang said they "severely damage China's core interests". 

"China's position has been clear and consistent. We are against it," he told reporters. 

"We do not want to see such things happen again. We do not want US weapon sales to Taiwan to further damage the relationship between China and the United States and the two nations' armed forces," Liang added. 

Asked about reports that Taiwan is buying MGM140 ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile Systems) surface-to-surface missiles from the US, Gates said the missiles are just for defense use, and were approved in 2008 by the Bush administration. 

Yet he admitted US arms deals to Taiwan had hurt relations. 

The two defense chiefs also denied their governments are entering an arms race.
Video:Sino-US militaries seek to 'reduce miscalculation' US think tank member says 'China-US military relations lag far behind'
Liang admitted China had made progress in building its military might and had developed weapons to meet its sovereignty and security requirements. 
But he said China's military technology lags far behind the world's most advanced armed forces and does not threaten any country. 

China is still years behind US capabilities in radar-evading aircraft, and even by 2025 the US would still have far more of these aircraft than any other nation in the world, Gates said before arriving in Beijing. 

He also explained that Washington's repeated joint exercises with Seoul in seas not far from China in 2010 and the current presence of three US aircraft carriers in that region is by no means targeted at Beijing but Pyongyang.
Major General Luo Yuan, with the PLA Academy of Military Sciences, said the MGM140 ATACMS missiles, with a maximum firing range of 300 km, are able to reach Chinese mainland coastal targets across the 170 km-wide Taiwan Straits. 

"They are obviously offensive weapons in terms of their capability," said Luo. 

He also said US arms sales to Taiwan violated its own promises to China. 

The US pledged in a joint communiqu signed in 1982 that it will not pursue a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan, the scale of arms sales would not surpass the scale at the time when the two nations established formal diplomatic ties, and arms sales would be gradually decreased till the problem is finally solved. 

"It has been 28 years since the communiqu was signed, but the US has yet to fulfil its commitments," said Luo.
Gates arrived in Beijing on Sunday evening. He also met Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission and Vice-President, Xi Jinping, on Monday. 

Xi expressed the hope that military-to-military relations could move forward in a healthy and stable manner.
On Tuesday Gates will meet President Hu Jintao, who is scheduled to visit Washington later this month.
Tang Yingzi, Wang Chenyan, Xinhua and Reuters contributed to this story.

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Robert Gates in China: Beijing seeks to ease US fears

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chinese Minister of National Defense General Liang Guanglie in Beijing (10 Jan 2011)
China told the US its military growth was consistent with its increasing global role
China's defence minister has sought to play down the country's military build-up, after talks with US counterpart Robert Gates in Beijing.
Liang Guanglie insisted China posed no threat and was decades behind nations with more advanced technology.

Mr Gates is on a four-day trip to China to cool tensions before President Hu Jintao visits the US next week.

Military ties between the two countries were briefly suspended early last year over a US sale of arms to Taiwan.

Mr Liang and Mr Gates both told journalists after their meeting that they agreed strong military co-operation should continue and should not be affected by politics.

Mr Liang said Beijing remained concerned about US dealings in Taiwan, before seeking to reassure the US about China's military ambitions.

"The efforts that we place on the research and development of weapons systems are by no means targeted at any third country," he said.

He said China's military development was "entirely appropriate and consistent with China's rise as an economic and political power".

Mr Gates said both US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao "clearly believe that a more robust military-to-military relationship is important".

He said he was convinced that the Chinese military leaders were "as committed to fulfilling the mandate of our two presidents" as he was.

Mr Gates will travel to South Korea and Japan later in the week, with the issue of North Korea high on the agenda.

Watching closely 

Days before Mr Gates landed in Beijing, websites published pictures apparently showing a working prototype of a Chinese stealth aircraft, invisible to radar.

China has not officially commented on the photos, but they have once again put the spotlight on China's military modernisation.

Photo apparently showing prototype of Chinese-made stealth bomber
Photos of a possible working prototype of a Chinese-made stealth aircraft were recently leaked
The US has the world's only operational stealth fighter, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor.

In the run-up to the talks, Mr Gates said that the Chinese "clearly have potential to put some of our capabilities at risk".

"We have to pay attention to them, we have to respond appropriately with our own programmes."
The US has been watching closely as China increases its military capacity - in particular, its development of a so-called "carrier killer" missile, a land-based system which could sink an aircraft carrier from up to 1,800 miles (2,900km) away.

US battle groups - including aircraft carriers - are stationed in the South China Sea.

The US defence budget is still the biggest in the world at around $700bn, but China's is the second largest and the rate of increase may well go up this year.

China's official military budget quadrupled between 1999 and 2009 as the country's economy grew.
Last year, China announced a smaller-than-usual 7.5% increase to $76.3bn.

The BBC's Martin Patience in Beijing says there is concern in China that the US is trying to encircle it by strengthening its military alliances around the region.

In February last year, Beijing cut military ties with the US, after Washington sold $6.4bn (£4.1bn) of arms to Taiwan.

The Beijing considers the self-governed island a breakaway province - it has hundreds of missiles pointed at Taiwan and has threatened to use force to bring it under its control if it moved towards declaring formal independence.


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Rightways said...

The hypocrites, USA is called 'United' States of America, UK is called 'United' Kingdom, but they want China, Korea ... 'Split' into two or more nations: two China: mainland and Taiwan; North Korea and South Korea, in military, politics and economy, etc. Just look what they have been doing: selling weapons of deaths to Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, India, Middle East, and force them separated, weaken them militarily, politically and economically, eventually 'divided and failed' whereas they remain united and win, how dismay!

China's growing capabilities are appropriate and consistent with China's rise as economic and political power against the world hegemony of the hypocrites.

Rightways said...

The West is always talk down on others as in China's case!

Don't do as they say, do as they do! Very threatening, as they say!

Who is threatening who? Quoted their figures: US's military spent $729 bn per year, China only $78 bn. US has many military bases throughout the world, the hegemony; China: none.

Rightways said...

China never intends to challenge US, Arms sales to Taiwan hurt military ties: PLA general:

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