China, US begin day two of military talks

China and the United States began their second day of sensitive defence talks after warnings from Beijing that US arms sales to Taiwan were a major obstacle to easing tensions.
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on Feb 28, 2009 03:57 PM IST
Copy Link
AFP | ByMarianne Barriaux, Beijing

China and the United States began their second day of sensitive defence talks on Saturday after warnings from Beijing that US arms sales to Taiwan were a major obstacle to easing tensions.

The defence contacts -- the first between the world powers for five months after China cut military exchanges over a proposed US arms package to Taiwan -- raised hopes of an easing of lingering tensions.

But the head of the Chinese delegation signalled from the start of the talks that Beijing would be taking a tough stance, saying there were problems between the two sides and it was up to the United States to fix them.

"China-US military relations remain in a difficult period. We expect the US side to take concrete measures for the resumption and development of our military ties," Qian Lihua, co-chair of the talks and defence ministry press director, said Friday in comments quoted by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence David Sedney -- the head of the US delegation -- was due to brief reporters later Saturday.

One issue that was expected to be raised was whether the suspended military exchanges would officially resume, after Qian warned Friday they might not.

He emphasised that the two days of talks in Beijing did not mean that regular exchanges -- such as talks at a more senior level and disaster relief coordination efforts -- would automatically start again.

"Frankly speaking, it will take a long time to restore our military exchanges as not a single obstacle in military ties has been removed so far," Qian said, specifically mentioning arms sales to Taiwan.

The situation of Taiwan, a democratically-ruled island claimed by China, has long been one of the most sensitive issues in Sino-US relations.

The planned 6.5-billion-dollar US arms package that derailed military exchanges could still go ahead, and if it does, Taiwan would receive advanced weaponry including 30 Apache attack helicopters and 330 Patriot missiles.

Sedney, who was also due to meet with Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese army, said Friday he was looking to improve dialogue between the two sides, according to Xinhua.

"We must increase communications to reduce the chance of strategic misunderstanding," Xinhua quoted Sedney as saying.

Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since they split in 1949 at the end of a civil war, but Beijing sees the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

Both sides have stationed vast weaponry on either shore of the Taiwan Strait.

Sino-US military relations remain marked by deep tensions over other issues aside from Taiwan.

Mistrust has grown as China has poured money into modernising its armed forces in recent years, fuelling concerns in the United States that it plans to project its power more boldly in the region.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel.

    Priti Patel conveys ‘general view’ to UK PM amid mass resignations: Report

    UK home secretary Priti Patel has reportedly conveyed Prime Minister Boris Johnson the “general view” of Conservative lawmakers amid efforts to force him out of office. "Home Secretary Priti Patel, told Johnson that the general view of the Conservative party was that he had to go," CNN reported citing a person familiar with the matter.

  • A Russian S-400 missile defence system drives in Red Square during a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Germany in World War Two, in Moscow, Russia on May 9, 2022. (REUTERS)

    Give CAATSA waiver, deepen defence and energy ties with India: US Congressmen

    In separate amendments to the National Defence Authorization Act, three US Congressmen have proposed that the US deepen defence ties with India, waive off sanctions that may be triggered by India's acquisitions of Russian weapons under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), enhance the energy partnership with India, and work to reduce Indian dependence on Russian military equipment and energy sources and replace it with the US sources.

  • Twitter flooded with memes as UK PM Boris Johnson faces mass resignation of ministers (Credit: Twitter/@Stakke82)

    'Ikea has better cabinets…': Twitter chuckles as Boris Johnson clings to power

    British prime minister Boris Johnson - holding on to power precariously after multiple members oJohnson'sis cabinet resigned over the past few days - has become the subject of memes among the online community. A slew of these memes have surfaced on Twitter, encapsulating the current political crisis in Britain as Johnson stares at the strong possibility of being removed as Conservative Party leader and PM.

  • Residential and commercial skyscrapers on the skyline of Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Bloomberg)

    Beijing-based AIIB opens Abu Dhabi office in face of China’s zero-Covid policy

    The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on Thursday announced the opening of its first office outside its Beijing headquarter, in what appears to be an effort to negotiate China's Covid-19-related policies including restrictions on international travel and strict quarantine requirements for returnees. “The AIIB Board of Directors has approved the establishment of an Interim Operational Hub (the Hub), the bank's first overseas office,” the multilateral lender said in a statement on Thursday.

  • Sonia Anand, professor at McMaster University and principal investigator for the study. (McMaster University)

    South Asians may have suffered more than general public in Covid-19: Canadian study

    South Asian communities may have suffered more during the Covid-19 pandemic than the general population, according to an indicative study published in Canada. Researchers from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, “found the Regional Municipality of Peel, home to a large South Asian Canadian community, emerged as a Covid-19 hotspot before the local rollout of vaccines starting in April 2021”. The city of Brampton was the “epicentre”.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, July 07, 2022