During an economic delegation visit to Beijing, Chinese officials suggested they were interested in resuming military talks with the United States.
A meeting is planned between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao in early 2011, “so we very much would like to make progress before the end of the year,” Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said.
Early this year, China halted its military-to-military relations because of a U.S. arms shipment to Taiwan. Resuming ties would help the United States and China avoid misunderstandings, as well as share ideas about how to collaborate, Morrell said.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates could also travel to China to meet with military representatives. But Morrell added: “This is not engagement for the sake of engagement. We’re not just looking for a reciprocal visit by Secretary Gates. What we are looking for is a resumption of productive, transparent, military-to-military engagement, so that we can both gain a better understanding of what our ambitions are, what our intentions are, when it comes to our military budgets, how we operate, where we operate and so forth.”