US, China Test New Crisis ‘Hot Line’
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his counterpart in Beijing on Thursday tested for the first time a “hot line” designed for consultations in times of crisis.
The line is similar to one created decades ago between Washington and Moscow. The Pentagon initially proposed the Beijing hot line, but the Chinese balked until President Bush and President Hu Jintao agreed last September to establish the system.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Gates and Gen. Liang Guanglie spoke briefly about advancing military-to-military relations, and Gates noted the importance of having a direct telephone link.
Read also China, U.S. Talk on New Hot Line by Wendell Minnick.