China urges US to respect core interests

Updated: 2015-10-03 06:24

By CHEN WEIHUA(China Daily)

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Leading PLA admiral expresses hopes for sustainable military ties and cooperation

China hopes the United States will scale back activities that may cause misunderstandings, and respect China's core interests, a senior Chinese naval commander has said.

China urges US to respect core interests

Both countries have blamed the other for dangerous moves after a number of recent incidents that saw Chinese and US aircraft and ships facing off in the air and waters around Asia.

Last year, the Pentagon claimed a Chinese jet fighter flew as close as 7 to 10 meters to a US Navy patrol jet and performed a barrel roll over the plane.

The Pacific is an important platform for cooperation, Admiral Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army, told Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command.

"The prerequisite for win-win cooperation is mutual trust," Sun said, according to China's Defense Ministry.

"(We) hope the US side will pay great attention to China's concerns, earnestly respect our core interests, avoid words and actions that harm bilateral ties, and reduce activities that could cause misunderstandings or misjudgments," he added.

The admirals spoke in Hawaii on Thursday on the sidelines of a gathering of Asia-Pacific defense officials.

The comments came as one of the US Navy's most advanced aircraft carriers docked in Japan at the start of a deployment that will strengthen the capability of the 7th Fleet in Asia and boost ties between the US and its closest regional ally.

Last week, the US announced pacts with China aimed at reducing the chances of an accidental flare-up between the two militaries, related to a military hotline and rules governing airborne encounters.

China has expressed deep concerns about frequent close surveillance conducted by US military vessels and planes off her coast, and has also expressed disappointment at comments made by US military officials that may have emboldened certain countries in the region to take a more confrontational attitude in maritime territorial disputes in the East and South China seas.

The PLA Navy has already accepted an invitation to participate in the 2016 Rim of the Pacific naval exercise, which it participated in last year for the first time.

Sun believes the consensus reached during President Xi Jinping's recent state visit to the US has given new momentum to the military-to-military relationship.

He called on the two militaries to seize the opportunity to expand cooperation and build a new type of sustainable military-to-military relationship based on mutual trust, cooperation and lack of conflict.

Harris, quoted by China's Ministry of National Defense, praised the development of the military-to-military ties between China and the US. He said the annex on confidence building reached by the two sides during Xi's visit will further push forward the relationship and play an active role in promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.