Military ties should be stabilizer of China-US relations: Chinese defense minister

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/10 14:26:39

(From left to right) US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Central Commission of the Communist Party of China Yang Jiechi shake hands at the conclusion of a joint news conference during the US-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue meetings at the US Department of State's Harry S. Truman headquarters building on Friday in Washington, DC.


A senior Chinese official said in Washington DC on Friday that the two sides should work together to ensure the upcoming meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in late November produces positive outcomes.

Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at a press conference following the second China-US Diplomatic and Security Dialogue, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday.

The 2018 G20 Buenos Aires summit is scheduled to be held from November 30 to December 1.

Yang co-chaired the dialogue in Washington DC with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe participated in the dialogue, Xinhua reported.

The dialogue proves that China and the US are willing to communicate with each other on significant issues to express their concerns, resolve differences and promote cooperation, said Diao Daming, an American studies expert and associate professor at the Renmin University of China.

China and the US should strengthen communication and coordinate closely to ensure that the significant meeting yields positive results, Yang noted.

Wei said at the press conference that Chinese and US military forces share broad common interests and important responsibilities in safeguarding world peace and security. 

“The two militaries existing in peace and cooperating would be fortuitous for both countries and the rest of the world; conflicts and confrontations between the two militaries would be a disaster for the two countries and the rest of the world,” Wei noted.

Diao told the Global Times that the US midterm elections have changed domestic politics in the US, but Congress has limited impact on the President’s diplomatic policy-making. Also, the Democrats favored protectionist policies in the past, so it is too early to be optimistic on the change of the China-US relationship after the US midterm elections.

Meeting between senior defense officials

At a meeting between Wei and Mattis that was also held on the same day, Wei said that the two sides should find measures to prevent accidental frictions and conflicts while Mattis said that the US has no intention to contain China, according to the website of China’s Ministry of National Defense.

Wei said that the two militaries should increase mutual trust and cooperation, and try to make military ties between China and the US a stabilizer of the China-US relationship.

Mattis agreed with Wei, saying that developing a constructive relationship with the Chinese military is always a goal for the US, and he hopes the two militaries could strengthen crisis management and control, avoid miscalculation, and push pragmatic cooperation in more areas. 

Wei and Mattis have met frequently in the past few months, effectively easing tensions between the two militaries in the South China Sea and Taiwan Straits, which is a positive sign for the two countries and the world, Diao said. 

Wei and Mattis also exchanged views on issues including the South China Sea issue, the Taiwan question and the Korean Peninsula issue. Wei stressed that the Chinese military firmly opposes any activities that try to separate the country, and will safeguard its national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity at all costs.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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