China: ‘New historical starting point’ with US military

By: |
January 28, 2021 5:43 PM

Wu said the two sides held a teleconference on Tuesday and Wednesday on the tracing of U.S. prisoners of war and those missing in action from previous Asian conflicts, and exchanged in-depth views on cases of concern to the U.S. side and cooperation between the two militaries, reflecting the importance China attaches to U.S. concerns in the humanitarian field.

The US says it does not recognise China's claim to virtually the entire South China Sea, accuses China of bullying its neighbours and maintains strong alliances or other relationships with Chinese regional rivals such as India, Australia, South Korea and Japan.

Putting frictions aside for now, China says relations between the Chinese and US militaries are at a new historical starting point and should focus on cooperation and avoiding confrontations. Defence Ministry spokesperson Col Wu Qian said Thursday that under former President Donald Trump, military-to-military relations “faced many risks and challenges but the sides now have an opportunity to reset ties.

Wu said the two sides held a teleconference on Tuesday and Wednesday on the tracing of U.S. prisoners of war and those missing in action from previous Asian conflicts, and exchanged in-depth views on cases of concern to the U.S. side and cooperation between the two militaries, reflecting the importance China attaches to U.S. concerns in the humanitarian field.

At present, China-US military relations stand at a new historical starting point,” Wu told reporters at a monthly briefing. Such positive-sounding language fuels perceptions that China’s leaders are hoping for a fresh start in relations and a more civil discourse with Washington after years of rancor, even while deep divisions remain.

China resents US support for Taiwan, the self-governing island democracy it claims as its own territory to be conquered by force if necessary, along with the US military presence in the South China Sea and what it sees as a broad-based U.S. campaign to restrain its growth.

The US says it does not recognise China’s claim to virtually the entire South China Sea, accuses China of bullying its neighbours and maintains strong alliances or other relationships with Chinese regional rivals such as India, Australia, South Korea and Japan.

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