China, US to establish military hotline

November 14th, 2007 - 8:29 am ICT by admin  
The China Daily quoted sources in Beijing as saying that Gates, who is on a week-long tour of Asia that will also see him visiting Korea and Japan, will be duiscussing the modalities for the setting of the hotline with his Chinese counterpart Cao Gangchuan.

He will also meet with President Hu Jintao and other top military officials.

Analysts believe the possible establishment of the military hotline will mark improved security ties between the two countries.

However, they said Washington remained concerned about China’s rapid military expansion, despite Beijing’s insistence that it is committed to peaceful development as its economy booms.

Relations between the two countries have warmed considerably since 2001, when a US spy plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet over the South China Sea, leading to soured relations between the Chinese and US militaries.

The ongoing visit is the first one for Gates as the US Defense Secretary.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said last week at a regular news briefing that during Gates’ visit Chinese military officials will exchange views with him on current regional and international security situation, relations between the two countries, the two militaries and other issues.

Hot issues to top the agenda are believed to include the Taiwan question and the nuclear issues of the Korean peninsula and Iran, the observers said.

Commander-in-Chief of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Timothy Keating, made his first China visit in May after taking office on March 26.

In late March, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Peter Pace, made his first visit to China.

Last July, Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission visited the US, while the former commander of US forces in the Pacific, Admiral William J. Fallon visited China twice in 2006. (ANI)

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