Gates seeks greater transparency from China
Washington: The US on Sunday underlined the
need for greater transparency from China on military and
defence related issues, ahead of a key bilateral dialogue
between the two nations.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates hoped that his
interaction with the top Chinese leadership during his
three-day trip to Beijing would result in more transparency
from China on military and defense related issues, which has
been absent from them so far.
"I think that becomes my hope would be that
(transparency) would be part of the strategic dialogue, that
as the two countries begin to talk about strategy and policies
and so on that intentions will become more transparent. And I
think that (transparency) would be helpful," Gates told
reporters travelling with him to China.
Gates is due to arrive in Beijing today for talks with
Chinese President Hu Jintao and top generals that are meant to
promote a more open and stable relationship between the two
He said his main purpose is to look for ways to expand
the relationship. "I think that seeing if we can come to
agreement on developing a strategic dialogue that talks about
strategy and policies and perhaps outlooks? Gates said.
Highlighting the importance of such talks, he said
dialogue contributes to not just greater understanding, but
contributes to "avoiding miscalculations and misunderstandings
He said the two countries had "agreed on seven
specific areas of cooperation, more high-level visits, more
exercises, more exchanges from our professional military
organizations and so on."
"Most of that has been on hold ever since and so I'd
like to see if we can move forward in those areas as well,"
the Pentagon boss noted.
Gates said the Chinese wanted him to come to Beijing
before its President Hu visits Washington.
He said "a positive, constructive, comprehensive"
Sino-US relationship is in the interest of everybody across
The Secretary said the forthcoming US visit of
President Hu will strengthen the "underdeveloped part of the
relationship". Gates said both the presidents wanted to see
the military-to-military relationship "strengthened".
As far as he was concerned, Gates said he would like
the relationship to go forward in a way that is "sustained and
reliable," with channels remaining open.