US pressing China to reduce risk of military miscues: Hillary

US is pressing China to increase transparency and reduce the risk of "miscalculation or miscues" between their militaries.

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2011, 17:42 PM IST

Washington: Amid growing global concern over
the PLA`s massive defence modernisation, the US is pressing
China to increase transparency and reduce the risk of
"miscalculation or miscues" between their militaries,
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.

"Over the last two-and-a-half years, one of my top
priorities has been to identify and expand areas of common
interest, to work with China to build mutual trust, and to
encourage China`s active efforts in global problem-solving,"
Hillary has said in an article on `America`s Pacific Century`
in the latest edition of the prestigious Foreign Policy
magazine.

"We all know that fears and misperceptions linger on
both sides of the Pacific. Some in our country see China`s
progress as a threat to the United States; some in China worry
that America seeks to constrain China`s growth. We reject both
those views," she says.

The US is also working with China to increase
transparency and reduce the risk of miscalculation in military
ties, she says.

"We are also working to increase transparency and
reduce the risk of miscalculation or miscues between our
militaries. The United States and the international community
have watched China`s efforts to modernise and expand its
military, and we have sought clarity as to its intentions,"
she says.

Buoyed by the development of a new stealth fighter, an
aircraft carrier and a number of space launches over the past
year, the People`s Liberation Army (PLA) of China is
determined to achieve its goal of building a modern military
by 2020, the Pentagon said recently.

"Both sides would benefit from sustained and
substantive military-to-military engagement that increases
transparency. So we look to Beijing to overcome its reluctance
at times and join us in forging a durable military-to-military
dialogue," she says on bilateral defence ties which have
witnessed zig-zags in the recent times.

China today represents "one of the most challenging and
consequential bilateral relationships" the United States has
ever had to manage, she says, adding that it calls for
careful, steady, dynamic stewardship.

"A thriving America is good for China and a thriving
China is good for America," Hillary says, adding that both
countries have much more to gain from cooperation than from
conflict.

"But you cannot build a relationship on aspirations
alone. It is up to both of us to more consistently translate
positive words into effective cooperation -- and, crucially,
to meet our respective global responsibilities and
obligations," Hillary says.

"These are the things that will determine whether our
relationship delivers on its potential in the years to come.
We also have to be honest about our differences. We will
address them firmly and decisively as we pursue the urgent
work we have to do together. And we have to avoid unrealistic
expectations," Hillary says.

In the article, Hillary also underlines the need to
work together with China to strengthen the Strategic Security
Dialogue, which brings together military and civilian leaders
to discuss sensitive issues like maritime security and
cyber security.

"As we build trust together, we are committed to
working with China to address critical regional and global
security issues," she says, noting that this is why she has
had frequent meetings with Chinese counterparts for candid
discussions about important challenges like North Korea,
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and developments in the South
China Sea.

On the economic front too, the United States and China
need to work together to ensure strong, sustained, and
balanced future global growth, she says.

US firms want fair opportunities to export to China`s
growing markets, which can be important sources of jobs here
in the United States, as well as assurances that the USD 50
billion of American capital invested in China will create a
strong foundation for new market and investment opportunities
that will support global competitiveness.

On the sensitive issue of China`s human rights record,
Hillary says that the US have made very clear, publicly and
privately, its serious concerns on the issue.

"We make the case to our Chinese colleagues that a deep
respect for international law and a more open political system
would provide China with a foundation for far greater
stability and growth -- and increase the confidence of China`s
partners. Without them, China is placing unnecessary
limitations on its own development," she says.

"At the end of the day, there is no handbook for the
evolving US-China relationship. But the stakes are much too
high for us to fail," she says, adding that as the US will
continue to embed our relationship with China in a broader
regional framework of security alliances, economic networks,
and social connections.

PTI