China signals interest in resuming military ties with US

China had suspended its military-to-military relationship with US in Feb.

Washington: China, which had earlier suspended its military-to-military relationship with the US, has signalled that it is interested in its resumption, the Pentagon has said.

"The Chinese have clearly signalled their interest in resuming military-to-military discussions, and we are right now exploring how best to do that," Defence Department spokesman, Geoff Morrell, told Pentagon reporters at a news conference.

China had stopped military-to-military relations with the US in February in protest of the US arms sales to Taiwan.

US President Barack Obama is likely to meet his Chinese counterpart early next year.

"So we very much would like to make progress before the end of the year," he said, adding that military-to-military relations would help the two countries avoid misunderstandings, miscommunication, and miscalculations.

"I would underscore the fact that it has been the interest of President Obama and President Hu that their respective militaries do engage more often, and better so that we can avoid any misunderstandings, miscommunication, miscalculations," Morrell said.

The Pentagon spokesman said it is possible that Defence Secretary Robert Gates would meet with his Chinese counterpart if invited.

"This is not engagement for the sake of engagement. We`re not just looking for a reciprocal visit by Secretary Gates. What we are looking for is a resumption of productive, transparent, military-to-military engagement, so that we can both gain a better understanding of what our ambitions are, what our intentions are, when it comes to our military budgets, how we operate, where we operate and so forth," Morrell said.