China-US military relations at 'new starting point'
Published: Jan 28, 2021 08:06 PM

The guided-missile frigate Zhoushan (Hull 529), together with the guided-missile destroyers Taizhou (Hull 138) and Hangzhou (Hull 136), steam to designated sea area in East China Sea during a maritime realistic training exercise in early January, 2021. They are attached to a destroyer flotilla with the navy under the PLA Eastern Theater Command.Photo:China Military

In a move analysts said China sent a signal of communication and cooperation to manage risks, militaries of China and the US recently held a meeting over the search for the remains of US prisoners of war and missing-in-action personnel, as the Chinese Defense Ministry said on Thursday that China-US military relations are at a new starting point with the Biden administration, but warned it is impossible for the US to contain China if it remains determined to do so, and "Taiwan independence" will lead to war.

"To contain China, Mission Impossible!" said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of National Defense, in English at a regular press conference on Thursday, while commenting on the challenges faced by the Chinese and US militaries in their relations during the Trump administration.

Looking into the future, as Joe Biden became president on January 20, Wu said that military relations between China and the US are now at a new historical starting point, and China hopes the new US administration can work together with China in enhancing dialogue, focusing on cooperation, managing differences and pushing for a healthy and stable development in China-US ties based on the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and mutual benefit.

Wu's statement urged the US military under the Biden administration not to follow the Trump administration's steps in building up tensions, and expressed the Chinese military's willingness to cool down existing tensions and start more cooperation, analysts said.

China and the US have started pragmatic exchanges in 2021, as the two militaries held a video conference on Tuesday to Wednesday on the search for the remains of US prisoners of war and those missing in action, and deep exchanges were made over cases the US is concerned about and the cooperation between the two militaries, the spokesperson revealed, noting that this showed China's attention to US concerns in the humanitarian field.

The move is a vital part in enhancing military exchanges with the US, and is a sign that China wants to avoid any accidents or conflicts and manage risks that neither country would like to see through more communication, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Wu said that China expects the US to meet China half way with the same professional spirit.

On the recent operations of the People's Liberation Army in the Taiwan Straits, Wu again stressed that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory, and the Taiwan question is China's internal affairs and does not allow any foreign intervention. 

The PLA operations in the Taiwan Straits are aimed at the current situation in the region, and are a necessary move to safeguard national sovereignty and security, and act as a stern response to foreign interference and Taiwan secessionists' provocations, Wu said.

"Taiwan independence" means war, Wu warned.

The warning is not only to "Taiwan independent" forces, but also to the US, since the US has been sending the wrong signals to Taiwan secessionists and boosting support to them, according to Song.

Global Times