China, US military talks aim to look for common grounds

June 23rd, 2009 - 1:10 pm ICT by ANI  

Beijing, June 23 (ANI): Chinese and US military officials will seek ways to cooperate on various issues, including maritime disputes and nuclear disarmament, when they meet for the 10th Defense Consultative Talks (DCT) here on Tuesday.

“There are many areas for cooperation, despite disagreements. Both sides have the same need for cooperation,” China Daily quoted a member of the delegation, as saying.

According to him, issues at the two-day dialogues are likely to include the Korean Peninsula, the Taiwan Straits and Afghanistan.

The sessions will be attended by a US delegation led by Michele Flournoy, the undersecretary for policy with the US Department of Defense, and a Chinese delegation led by Lieutenant General Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army.

The talks will be held at the headquarters of the PLA Central Military Commission, the Chinese army’s top command.

The last DCT session was in Washington 18 months ago.

Military exchanges were frozen until February, after the Bush administration announced plans to sell 6.5 billion dollars in arms to Taiwan.

“The Obama administration has the tone of not letting disagreements affect the cooperation in common interests,” Tao Wenzhao, an expert on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said.

Chinese and US naval vessels have had several confrontations since early March.

The latest incident saw a Chinese submarine damage an underwater sonar array towed by the US destroyer USS John S. McCain on June 11 in the South China Sea. Both sides played down the collision and said it may have been an “accident”.

A senior official from the US Department of Defense confirmed the sides will address the confrontations, but said cooperation with China is “on the upswing”. (ANI)

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