U.S., China End Talks With Plans for More

Maureen Fan of the Washington Post reports on joint-talks between U.S. and China military officials. While no resolutions have been made on major issues, the talks were characterized as frank and open, and both parties have agreed to future exchanges.

Factors including the new U.S. administration, the depth of the American financial crisis, China’s increased confidence, and growing instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan have combined to produce the most frank and open talks in years, experts and participants said.

“These were the best set of talks that I have ever been part of,” said David Sedney, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, who co-chaired the annual Defense Policy Coordination Talks. “Not because we pretended that everything was fine and everything was resolved, but because we worked very seriously to address the obstacles while at the same time engaging in some discussions in some of the new areas like counterpiracy.”

China’s Defense Ministry declined repeated requests for comment. “China-U.S. military relations remain difficult,” Maj. Gen. Qian Lihua, director of the ministry’s Foreign Affairs Office, told state-run media as the talks began Friday. “We expect the United States to take concrete measures for the resumption and development of our military ties.”

March 1, 2009 5:05 PM
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Categories: Politics