Gates seeks greater transparency from China

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 militaries.

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 and miscommunication?

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 globe.

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.