US-China defense talks the best in more than a decade, says official

March 2nd, 2009 - 4:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Beijing, Mar. 2 (ANI): A senior US defense official has claimed that the first defense talks between Beijing and Washington after Barack Obama took office were the best in more than a decade. These were the best set of talks that I have ever been a part of … between the US and Chinese defense establishments, said David Sedney, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia and Pacific Security Affairs. Sedney, who has been involved in China-US military dialogues since 1997, was briefing reporters at the US embassy after 15 hours of talks with mainland military officials and scholars in Beijing, the China Daily reports. Both sides were more frank and more direct, Sedney said. Sedney, who co-chaired the Defense Policy Coordination Talks (DPCT) with Major-General Qian Lihua, also said both sides have agreed on a scheduling for high-level military exchanges. We certainly agreed we are going to be having high-level exchanges very soon, Sedney said, adding that the meetings will be held on Monday. China had cancelled all bilateral military exchanges in October 2008 in response to the Bush administration’’s 6.5 billion dollars proposed arms deal to Taiwan, the biggest military package offered to the island since 1982. Sedney said US representatives were urged again to stop arms sales to Taiwan and push for peaceful ties across the Taiwan Straits with practical measures, but added that the US stance on Taiwan would not change. The positions (on Taiwan) haven”t really been changes. The … Taiwan (question) is the core central issue for the Chinese. They made it very clear and effectively, and we understand that, Sedney said. The US has regularly sold arms to Taiwan for what it says will preserve stability across the Straits. Such moves have angered Mainland China. (ANI)

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