U.S., China Remain Split in Talks – Yochi J. Dreazen
From Wall Street Journal:
Senior U.S. and Chinese defense officials traded compliments at the start of a two-day summit here, but the two countries remained divided on issues such the future of Iran’s nuclear program.
During closed-door meetings with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, high-ranking Chinese officials reacted coolly to U.S. calls for tougher economic sanctions against Iran and declined to address U.S. concerns about China’s test of an antisatellite weapon, U.S. officials said.
Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan also declined to provide details about the scope and purpose of China’s military expansion, U.S. officials said. Many U.S. policy makers are concerned about China’s military spending, although Chinese officials have long stressed that it is aimed at modernizing the armed forces. [Full Text]
Read also Sino-US military hotline agreed by Le Tian:
China and the United States Monday agreed to open a direct military hotline as Beijing urged Washington to stop arms sales to Taiwan.
Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan said the two sides had agreed to ask departments concerned to make the necessary technical changes so that the telephone link can be set up at an early date.
The hotline would be the first of its kind between China and any country at defense ministry level. Discussions on setting up the military link had been going on since President Hu Jintao and US President George W. Bush agreed to advance bilateral military relations during their meeting in April last year.
Speaking at a joint news conference after 90 minutes of talks, visiting US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said: “We reached agreement on implementation of a direct telephone link between our two defense establishments The United States has a relationship with China that is candid, constructive and cooperative.”
Cao asked the United States to take concrete actions to safeguard peace and stability across the Straits. [Full Text]
See also Gates Questions China on Military Growth by Thom Shanker.