China, US military relations still stay at difficult period: Official

China-U.S. military relations still stay at a difficult period," Chinese official said

China, US military relations still stay at difficult period: Official

China said on Friday it was up to the United States to "remove obstacles" to improve military ties at the start of talks which were postponed in November after a U.S. announcement of arms sales to Taiwan.

Qian Lihua, a senior foreign affairs official in China's Ministry of Defence, made the remarks before talks with Pentagon official David Sedney, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

"China-U.S. military relations still stay at a difficult period," Qian said, according to the English-language report.

"We expect the U.S. side to take concrete measures for the resumption and development of our military ties."

The brief report did not say what steps Beijing wants from Washington, but Chinese officials have long said that their key security concern is neighbouring Taiwan, the self-ruled democratic island which China claims as its own and which receives U.S. military equipment and advice.

Beijing says Taiwan is an illegitimate breakaway province that must accept reunification, by force if necessary, and it has been angered by U.S. military sales.

Defence officials from the two countries were due to meet in November as part of annual talks. But the meeting was postponed by China after the Bush administration announced it would sell $6.5 billion of arms to Taiwan.

Washington has its own complaints about China's military development. Pentagon officials have often said Beijing's defence spending lacks transparency, fuelling disquiet in the region.

China's defence budget for 2009 is likely to be announced at the annual session of the Communist Party-run parliament, which starts next week. In 2008, the government said it would spend 418 billion yuan ($61 billion) on defence, up 17.6 percent on 2007.

The U.S. Defense Department budget for the fiscal year 2009 is $515 billion, a 7.5 percent rise on the previous year. That number does not include separate multi-billion dollar outlays for Iraq and Afghanistan and some spending on nuclear weapons.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Şubat 2009, 11:42