China urges US to restore bilateral military ties

January 21st, 2009 - 2:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Beijing, Jan.21 (ANI): China has urged the United State to take concrete steps to put bilateral military ties back on track after relations were derailed because of Pentagon’’s arms sales to Taiwan last year.
The Barack Obama administration should clear the way for improved military ties, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday.
Announcing the publication of the sixth defense white paper since 1998, Hu Changming was quoted by the China Daily as telling a news briefing: “The US president-elect Obama will take office in a few hours and current US Defense Secretary Robert Gates will keep his job … At present, when bilateral military ties face difficulties, we urge the US Defense Department to remove obstacles and take action to create favorable conditions for the healthy development of ties.”
“Only when both countries respect each other’’s core interests can we consolidate the political base of our military relations,” he said.
China suspended high-level military contact with the US in October in protest against Pentagon’’s $6.5-billion arms sales to Taiwan, which included 30 Apache attack helicopters and 330 Patriot missiles.
It was the largest arms sale to Taiwan since China and the US signed the August 17 Communiqu in 1982, in which the US agreed to gradually reduce sale of weapons to the island.
Last month, though, Obama said Sino-US military exchanges should continue. He said he even wanted to “resume laboratory-to-laboratory exchanges that were terminated in the 1990s”. (ANI)

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