By Wang Qi, Sina English
The visiting Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie expressed the hope, when talking with his U.S. counterpart Leon Panetta, that China and the U.S. should establish a new type of military relationship featuring equality, cooperation and win-win, which also indicates China’s growing defense capabilities as well as confidence, and signals more substantive military ties between the two countries.
Although China's rise has become a tacit acknowledgement to the US strategists, the two powers would never cease tussles on the diplomatic arena. Despite closer economic relations and more frequent political exchanges, military cooperation still remains a soft spot in bilateral ties.
Liang urged the US to respect China in terms of its military development in a bid to boost mutual trust, which will be conducive to building a more stable defense relationship between the two.
On top of that, the breakthrough made in military exchanges between the two countries is also timely and encouraging, given the sensitive timing. Liang's visit coincides with the month-long standoff between China and Philippine over Huangyan Island.
Philippine's Defense Minister and Foreign Minister paid a visit to the U.S. to rally support whereas China shows no sign of compromise over its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Chinese vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying warned on Monday that China has made preparations for any escalation of the situation.
Moreover, the Philippine side has been trying to drag Washington in, citing the Joint Defense Treaty it signed with the U.S. in 1951, and even disguising the replacement of the concept, all for forcing the U.S. into the so-called “defensive war” against China.
In this perspective, Liang's visit comes in good time.
Asia-Pacific region is the important engine driving global economic development, thus requiring a peaceful and stable environment, in which cooperations between China and the US play a crucial role.
Military communication also helps to promote mutual trust and reduce conflicts. History suggests a slew of military conflicts could trace to asymetrical information and thereupon miscalculations.
So enhancing transparency and communication is constructive to both militaries. Also, a military relationship based on mutual trust and equality could do more than soothing tense.