China-US military ties key to peace

By Yang Sheng and Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2017/3/30 21:23:42

Some in US congress always try to disrupt relations: expert

Military ties between China and the US are an important part of the bilateral relations and benefit global peace and stability, China's National Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

"Military ties between China and the US have stabilized this year," Wu Qian, Ministry of National Defense spokesperson, told a regular press conference on Thursday in response to questions on why China and the US have engaged in less military communications.

"President Xi Jinping has said that cooperation is the only right choice between China and the US, and China is willing to work with the US under the principle of no conflict and confrontation, mutual respect and win-win. The two sides can control disputes and promote stability," said Wu.

"The Sino-US military relationship is not only important for both countries but for the regional and world peace. Both militaries uphold this," said Xu Guangyu, a retired PLA major general and a senior advisor of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association.

"Before Trump took office, Sino-US military ties encountered friction on the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, and Taiwan," said Peng Guangqian, a military strategist at the People's Liberation Army Academy of Military Science.

Some in the US Congress and military always try to disrupt the Sino-US ties. For example, some US politicians and military officers want to upgrade military cooperation with Taiwan, which provokes Chinese mainland and is offensive, Peng said.

"Since US President Donald Trump promised that the US will always respect the one-China policy and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said both sides will have 'mutual-respect', we hope the US can keep its word and turn them into action," he added.

"Otherwise, military ties between the two countries would be damaged again," Peng stressed.

"When Sino-US ties are in trouble, the military ties would be the first to be damaged. China has never tried to challenge US interests, and we sincerely want to have a healthy relationship with US military forces," he elaborated.

Experts also discussed some dynamics that could affect military ties.

"South Korea will hold a presidential election in May, and it could affect the Theatre High Altitude Area Defense system's deployment. Both sides should seize the opportunity to ease tensions in the Korean Peninsula," Xu said.

Japan is also planning to send military vessels to the South China Sea to destabilize the situation, and if Xi and Trump can reach an agreement in Florida to maintain regional stability, Japan might reconsider its plan, said Xu.

But it's also possible it would engage in unilateral action, Xu added.

"A new US administration is a new opportunity, but we remain cautiously optimistic about our future," Peng noted.

Wu said the deployment of THAAD won't make South Korea safer. He reiterated China's opposition to THAAD and said the Chinese military is "not just talking the talk."


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