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U.S., China to hold defense talks for 1st time since Obama took office.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 Kyodo

The United States and China will hold a defense policy dialogue on Feb. 27-28 in Beijing, the first such talks since the launch of the administration of U.S. President of Barack Obama in January, a U.S. Defense Department official said Saturday.

The dialogue will also mark the resumption of talks under the bilateral Defense Policy Coordination Talks since they were suspended in October last year, when China opposed a report to the U.S. Congress by the administration of former President George W. Bush of a plan to sell the latest weapons to Taiwan.

The Beijing talks will focus on the expansion of bilateral military cooperation and joint implementation of steps to address security concerns in East Asia and the world, according to the official.

With U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's planned visit to China on Feb. 20-22, the Defense Department will work closer with the State Department to advance Washington's relations with China.

The official said the United States will continue engagement with China and pursue forward-looking and cooperative relations with the country.

David Sedney, the U.S. assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, and senior officers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army will take part in the Beijing meeting, the official said.

The United States and China had held the Defense Policy Coordination Talks once a year until they were suspended last October.

Clinton said in late January the United States needs a comprehensive framework of dialogue with China, suggesting that Washington will spark bilateral talks not only in economic areas but in security fields.

Clinton has said that U.S.-China relations are the most important bilateral ties in the 21st century.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Feb 23, 2009
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