Mullen talks detente with Beijing

Dec. 2, 2010 at 4:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Washington and Beijing may not always see eye-to-eye, but there is potential to bolster bilateral military engagement, the top U.S. military official said.

Michele Flournoy, the U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, hosts Chinese officials next week in part to discuss potential bilateral military ties.

U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an audience at the Center for American Progress in Washington that the upcoming meeting had the potential to lay a strong foundation for military ties between the two superpowers.

"Now that both countries have agreed to resume routine contacts as part of this important (aspect) of our relationship, the hard work really begins," the Defense Department quoted the admiral as saying. "The United States stands ready to do our part."

Beijing suspended its bilateral military ties with Washington after a U.S. military sale to Taiwan.

Mullen said the two sides now have the opportunity to rekindle relations with a special focus on security on the Korean peninsula.

"The United States and China may view the situation differently, but we certainly share an interest in stability along the Korean peninsula," he stressed.

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