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China, US to hold defense policy talks

Updated: Jan 30,2015 9:23 AM     Xinhua

WASHINGTON — Chinese and US defense officials will meet at the Pentagon on Feb 5 for the Defense Policy Coordination Talks, the US Department of Defense announced on Jan 29.

David Helvey, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, will host the talks with Rear Admiral Li Ji, deputy director of Foreign Affairs Office of China’s Ministry of National Defense, Pentagon spokesman Jeff Pool said.

The US delegation will include representatives from the Joint Staff, US Pacific Command, the State Department, and the National Security Council staff, while the Chinese delegation will include representatives of the Ministry of National Defense and relevant military bodies, according to Pool.

The meeting is an important component of the broader program of engagements between the two militaries, which seeks to foster sustained and substantive dialogue, deepen practical cooperation in areas of mutual interest, and focus on enhancing risk reduction, Pool said.

This year’s talks, he added, will emphasize the positive momentum sustained in the US-China military-to-military relationship over the past year, which included historic agreements to establish new confidence building measures between the two militaries, and endorse the robust program of engagements planned for the rest of the year.

In Beijing, China’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun on Jan 29 dismissed a US media report that described the US-China military ties as facing new obstacles citing that the Pentagon delayed a major new military exchange with China until the two sides could reach an agreement on rules for airborne encounters.

China and the United States have actively developed a new model for military ties in 2014, featuring new progress in high-level exchanges, institutional exchanges, and joint training and exercises, said Yang.

He noted that the “two mutual trust mechanisms,” referring to a mutual reporting and trust mechanism on major military operations and a code of safe conduct on naval and air military encounters between the two sides, had become the highlight of the China-US military ties.

In the new year, China is willing to work with the US to seriously carry out the consensus reached by leaders of both countries and push forward the healthy and stable development of the China-US military ties, the spokesperson said.

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