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China, U.S. Organize Joint Defense Activities to Boost Relationship

Chuck Hagel
Chuck Hagel

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Chang Wanquan, have announced plans to strengthen cooperation between the two countries, Breaking Defense reported Monday.

Colin Clark writes the two officials attended a press conference Monday during which they disclosed the agenda of a meeting aimed at organizing joint initiatives and addressing regional issues.

The article says the media event was held three days before Hagel leaves the U.S. for a trip that would include engagements with ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Clark reports the two officials confirmed that China will participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific naval exercises and will conduct joint counter-piracy drills in the Gulf of Aden with the U.S. this weekend.

Recent bilateral exchanges involved military, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance training of Chinese servicemen at the U.S. Naval Academy and with a maritime working group in Hawaii, according to Breaking Defense.

The two nations are also collaborating with a goal to review air and maritime policies as well as develop a “notification mechanism for major military activities,” Chang was quoted to have said through an interpreter.

The article notes an agreement to hold regular exchanges between the strategic planning departments of the U.S. Army and People’s Liberation Army of China is expected to focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

In terms of regional issues, Hagel and Chang focused their discussions on the situation in North Korea as well as territorial disputes on the East China and South China seas, the report adds.

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