U.S. invites China to participate in 2014 RIMPAC
By Yu Runze, Sina English
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta invited China to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) during talks held here with Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie on Tuesday.
Panetta said the United States' goal "is to establish a stable and constructive relationship with China in order to maintain world peace in the 21st century. And the key to that is to establish a strong military-to-military relationship.
China and U.S. should see the military-military relationship in a long term, not only to focus on breakthroughs we have made, but also to make sure we could maintain a stable development in areas that we have reached consensus, he added.
A good Sino-US relation can benefit both countries and its people, as well as contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in Asia-Pacific, Panetta said.
China seeks 'new' military ties
Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie has called for more efforts to promote a new type of military ties between China and the United States.
Liang made the comments at a joint press conference in Beijing with visiting US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
"The two sides should, within the framework of building a China-US cooperative partnership, advance a new type of military ties featuring equality, reciprocity and win-win cooperation in an active and pragmatic way," Liang said.
China and the US should explore a path of coexistence between a rising power and an established power to establish a new type of big power relations, Liang said.
Panetta invited China to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific Exercise.
"The US Navy will invite China to send a ship to participate in the RIMPAC 2014 exercise," he said, emphasizing that the exercise hosted by the US Navy's Pacific Command is the world's largest international maritime exercise.
Panetta said his country's goal "is to have the United States and China establish the most important bilateral relationship in the world. And the key to that is to establish a strong military-to-military relationship."
He added: "We also discussed establishing peacekeeping exchanges between our two militaries to enhance our capabilities in this critical area."
Panetta said the US intends to establish a relationship with China that is healthy, stable, reliable and continuous.
"The key is to have senior-level interactions that we are engaging in to reduce the potential of miscalculation, and boost real understanding and expand trust between our countries," he said.
Panetta, on his first trip to China as US defense secretary, acknowledged differences between the two countries over maritime security in East Asia, but said better ties would "advance peace and stability and prosperity in the entire Asia-Pacific region."
Panetta said he and Liang had candid discussions on the difficult issues confronting the two countries, including US arms sales to Taiwan, the shift in US strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific and cybersecurity.
Panetta's three-day visit to China is part of an effort to bolster military-to-military ties between the two countries and avoid the kind of on-again, off-again relationship they have had in the past.
Panetta will meet Vice President Xi Jinping today and visit a Chinese naval base in Qingdao.