China, US to enhance military ties
Updated: 2012-09-18 19:00
By Cheng Guangjin (chinadaily.com.cn)
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has asked China to join in the next joint-military Rim of the Pacific Exercise in 2014.
Panetta told reporters that he informed Minister of Defense Liang Guanglie in their meeting Tuesday morning that the US navy invited China to send a ship to attend the exercises.
The Rim of the Pacific Exercise has been held by the US Pacific Command in Hawaii since 1971, and currently takes place every even-numbered year. This year's drills, from late June until early August, were the largest ever, with 22 nations and 25,000 personnel participating.
Panetta arrived in Beijing on Monday evening for a four-day visit, which is expected by both sides to promote mutual trust between the two militaries.
Liang called for the two militaries to discard the "zero-sum-game mentality" to enhance mutual beneficial cooperation under the framework of major-power relations that the two countries' leaders have agreed on.
He urged the two sides to learn more about each other's national defense policies and strategic intentions.
Acknowledging that there are problems in the two countries' military relations, the two sides should "earnestly respect each other's core interests and major concerns", Liang said.
Liang also called for the two militaries to deepen practical cooperation in non-traditional security areas, including providing humanitarian aid and medical assistance, and countering piracy.
Liang said the two militaries have completed 14 exchange programs so far this year, including Liang's visit to the US in May and Panetta's current visit to China, and there will be a dozen more later this year.