Date
20 September 2017
Joseph Dunford , chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets China's Central Military Commission Vice Chairman Fan Changlong in Beijing on Thursday. Photo: Reuters
Joseph Dunford , chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets China's Central Military Commission Vice Chairman Fan Changlong in Beijing on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

Chinese general criticizes ‘wrong’ US moves on Taiwan

“Wrong” actions of the United States with regard to Taiwan, and the US military’s South China Sea patrols and deployment of an advanced anti-missile system in South Korea have had a large, negative influence on military trust between Beijing and Washington, a top Chinese military leader said on Thursday.

Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s powerful Central Military Commission, told Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, that Beijing is concerned about some US activities in the region, Reuters reports, citing a statement from China’s defense ministry.

The Chinese general told his US counterpart, who was on a visit to China, that “wrong actions on the Taiwan issue, the United States deploying the THAAD system around China, US ships and aircraft activities in the South China Sea, the United States close-in surveillance in the sea and air near China have had a large, negative influence on bilateral military ties and mutual trust”.

THAAD refers to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence anti-missile system the United States has deployed in South Korea to defend against North Korea.

China says the system affects its own security because of its powerful radar, and will do nothing to ease tension with North Korea.

Fan said China is willing to work with the US to find more potential for cooperation, handle disputes and sensitive issues appropriately and ensure that military cooperation becomes a positive force in relations.

At a separate meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Dunford that promoting constructive relations between the two militaries is very important to help deepen ties between the two sides.

China and the US, the world’s two largest economies, say they are committed to having a stable military-to-military relationship, but there are deep faultlines, Reuters noted.

China has been angered by US freedom of navigation patrols near Chinese-controlled islands in the disputed South China Sea and continued US arms sales and support for Taiwan.

Washington, for its part, has expressed concern about what it calls unsafe intercepts of US aircraft by the Chinese air force and a lack of transparency in military spending by China.

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RC

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