Los Angeles 10/11/2010 9:28:34 PM
News / Politics

Gates Calls On China To Strengthen Military Relations With US

Robert Gates, the US Defense Secretary, met with his Chinese counterpart General Liang Guanglie on Monday to urge him to restore military-to-military ties frozen by China due to US sales of weapons to Taiwan.

A day before the summit of Asian ministers of defense, Gates spent 30 minutes with Guanglie behind closed doors, and later said that the two talked about how  “having greater clarity and understanding of each other is essential to preventing mistrust, miscalculations and mistakes".

According to Gates, military ties between the two countries are not as strong as their economic and diplomatic relations, especially after Beijing was furious over US plan to sell weapons worth 6.4 billion dollar to Taiwan, which China considers its province.

“Indeed, when there are disagreements, it’s all the more important to talk to one another — more and not less,” Gates told reporters after the meeting, while adding, “I have felt for a long time that the dialogue between the two militaries ought to be sustainable regardless of the ups and downs in the relationship".

Gates also told that he has been invited by the Chinese official to Beijing. Gates is expected to pay a visit to China next year.

The decision of the Obama administration to supply arms to Taiwan, according to Gates, had nothing to do with the US Defense Department. He said, “It is fundamentally a political decision", arguing that the Chinese and US militaries shouldn't have their relations tied to decisions by leaders concerning Taiwan.