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US-China military hotline eases ties

Last Updated: Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 16:23

Beijing: Top military officials of China and the US and the defence ministries of both countries have held multiple phone conversations since a hotline was set up in 2008, China`s ministry of national defence has said.

The hotline was twice halted as bilateral military exchanges were severed in the wake of alleged US arms sales to Taiwan, which Beijing has long called an obstacle to maintaining the healthy growth of military relations between the two countries, according to the China Daily.

Military relations were also suspended after a US proposal to sell $6.5 billion worth of arms to Taiwan in October 2008. They were not resumed until Xu Caihou, vice chairman of China`s Central Military Commission, visited the US in 2009.

They were frozen again for a year when the Obama administration in January 2010 approved a $6.4 billion arms sales package -- including 60 Black Hawk helicopters -- to Taiwan.

During his visit to the US in January 2011, Chinese President Hu Jintao reached a consensus with President Barack Obama on building a partnership featuring mutual respect and benefit.

A draft report to the US Congress said the transfer of US arms to Taiwan had been extremely slow. Only four of the 60 Black Hawks proposed to be sold to Taiwan in January 2010 had been ordered as of mid-October.

Tensions have reportedly deepened in recent weeks, as a US intelligence agency report accused China of intensive cyber spying. Two US Senators also blamed China for counterfeit electronic goods that ended up in US military systems.


First Published: Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 16:23

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