2008-03-04 05:21:40 Xinhua English
BEIJING, March. 4 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Tuesday the date to open a military hotline between China and the United States was still under discussion.
Qin made the remarks while responding to a journalist's question who cited a U.S. source as saying the hotline would be operational this month.
He said the defense departments of both countries still needed to discuss the date to open the hotline and the way to operate the communications.
"The agreement to set up the direct telephone line is a new measure to enhance political and military mutual trust and strengthen exchanges and cooperation between the two sides," he said.
Qin added that only when the United States has given up the "Cold War" thinking, can the hotline play its role.
"China hopes the two sides can enhance mutual trust and strengthen exchanges and cooperation through this link."
China and the United States on Feb. 29 officially signed an agreement on setting up a direct confidential telephone line between the Chinese Defense Ministry and the U.S. Department of Defense at the conclusion of a working meeting between the two defense departments.
The hotline, the first of its kind between China and another country at the defense ministry level, is aimed at providing instant contact between the two nation's defense and military leaders on major issues of common concern, especially in emergencies.