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Chinese, US defense chiefs vow to boost new type military ties

Updated: Apr 8,2014 11:58 PM     Xinhua

State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan (L) and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (R) review the guard of honor at a welcoming ceremony before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, April 8, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - Defense Minister Chang Wanquan on Tuesday held talks with his U.S. counterpart Chuck Hagel on promoting the sound and stable development of a new type of military relations.

Chang said this year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations, and it is also a crucial year for the two sides to build the new type of major-country relations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping described the content of this kind of relationship with “no conflict and no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation”, which revealed the characteristics of bilateral relations, said Chang.

He called on the two countries to steadily and unswervingly push forward the construction of the new type of major-country relations, which is in line with the fundamental and long-term interests of the two sides as well as the lasting peace and stability of Asia-Pacific region and the world.

Chang applauded the major progress achieved in bilateral military relations since last year, noting that the two sides should further enhance dialogue and communication, and respect each other’s core interests and major concern.

He urged the two armed forces to strengthen pragmatic exchange and cooperation, effectively manage crisis and risks, properly resolve major obstacles and differences, so as to push forward the healthy and stable development of their new type military ties.

Hagel expressed condolence for the 154 Chinese passengers on the missing Malaysian Airline MH370 on behalf of the United States.

State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan holds talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Beijing, capital of China, April 8, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

Grateful for the opportunity to visit China’s only aircraft carrier Liaoning, Hagel hoped that the two sides could enhance cooperation, so as to jointly cope with major challenges.

Hagel spoke positively of the current development of bilateral military ties, stressing that the U.S. will firmly support the development of the U.S.-China new type of military relations.

He called on the two armed forces to actively expand the areas for cooperation, constantly conduct substantive dialogues, beef up cooperation on humanitarian relief and anti-piracy, and manage and control their differences with a responsible and constructive manner, so as to reduce misjudgment and risks.

During the meeting, the two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues.

The Chinese defense minister expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the U.S. House of Representatives passage of a Taiwan-related bill.

He also refuted the false remarks and actions by some U.S. defense and government officials recently on the Diaoyu Islands and the South China Sea issue, urging the U.S. side to correct their mistakes and safeguard regional peace and stability with concrete actions.

Chang said the U.S. should fully recognize the high complexity and sensitiveness of issues mentioned above and respect China’s position and major concern.

He said the U.S. should fulfill its commitment on taking no position and not taking sides on territorial disputes, so as to avoid sending wrong signals.

After the meeting, the two defense chief attended a press conference.

As guest of Chang, Hagel arrived in Qingdao City of east China’s Shandong Province on Monday for a four-day visit. He paid a visit to aircraft carrier Liaoning on Monday afternoon and arrived in Beijing later in the evening.

It is Hagel’s first China visit as defense secretary.

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