Sunday, June 3, 2012

China: Sino-US ties key to peace


Proper handling of Sino-U.S. ties key to regional, world peace   2012-06-03 02:01:35  
SINGAPORE, June 2 (Xinhua) -- What United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at an ongoing regional security forum shows that the United States is seeing its relations with China as very important and is making efforts to strengthen it, said Lieutenant General Ren Haiquan, who headed the Chinese delegation to the forum.

Speaking on the sidelines of the forum on Saturday, Ren, who is also vice president of the Academy of Military Sciences of the People's Liberation Army, said that the United States attaches great importance to Sino-U.S.relations largely because China is a large country and its economy is growing quickly and steadily.
The Academy of Military Sciences is the top science institution within the Chinese military. Ren used to serve as vice president of the PLA National Defense University, the top institution for military education in China.
Ren had discussions and exchanges of views with many defense ministers, senior defense officials and scholars at the ongoing Asia Security Summit, which is also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue.

Panetta elaborated on the U.S. strategy to rebalance towards the Asia Pacific in a keynote speech at the multilateral forum on Saturday, and said that the United States wants to improve strategic trust with China.
"We are not naive about this relationship, and neither is China. We both understand the differences we have. We both understand the conflicts we have. But we also both understand that there really is no other alternative for both of us but to engage and to improve our communications and to improve our military-to-military relationships," he said at the forum.

Ren said that from a strategic point of view, the United States wants to strengthen its cooperation with China in areas such as defense, politics, diplomacy and economy.

"If it properly handles its relations with China in an approach based on its strategic needs, it will be helpful not only for the bilateral relations, but also for the region and even the world," Ren said.

Ren said he appreciated the positive answers given by Panetta as well as Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to questions on the South China Sea disputes raised by some of the media.
"I think the dominant theme at the Shangri-La Dialogue is dialogue and cooperation for Asia Pacific security," he said.

China has been sticking to its consistent policies on the South China Sea issue and has been properly handling the international relations, said the lieutenant general.

Chinese top leaders and senior defense officials have been making efforts to promote peace and development, he added.

The consensus shared by the Asia Pacific nations, including most of the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is that they should have mutual respect, promote cooperation and strive to develop their economy so as to achieve prosperity and make it possible for people in the region to have a better life, he said.

"Anybody going against this trend is destined to end up a loser, " he said.

As for the U.S. strategic rebalancing towards the Pacific, especially its plans to increase military presence in the Asia Pacific, Ren said it is no surprise that the United States is adjusting its strategy in accordance with its national interest, its fiscal conditions and the world situation.

China should be aware of its challenges while getting prepared at any time for the complex and challenging international situation.

"We have never sought hegemony. we are not seeking it now. Neither will we seek it in future," Ren said. "But we should have the means and the capabilities to defend our fundamental national interests when they are under threat."

Panetta outlined U.S. plans to deploy 60 percent of its Navy ships in the Pacific by 2020, up from the current 50 percent, saying that increased U.S. involvement in the region is not only " fully compatible" with the development and growth of China, but will actually benefit China as it advances the shared security and prosperity of the two countries for the future.

"We will hear what they say and see what they do. They will tell," Ren said.

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