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U.S.-China relationship in the 21st Century.

U.S.-China Relationship in the 21st Century

By Adm. Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Text:

On July 10, 2011, JCS Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen addressed an audience of students and professors at Renmin University in Beijing, China, about the growing importance of the U.S.-Chinese relationship. Indeed, the Chairman unequivocally stated that the U.S.-China relationship will shape the 21st Century.

The United States, he noted, was a Pacific Ocean power, and he opined that China's rise in the Asia-Pacific region does not mean America's decline in the region. U.S. security interests and our economic well-being, he noted, are tied to Asia.

Adm. Mullen emphasized the positive aspects of U.S.-Chinese relations. Both countries have "common challenges" and "shared interests" in Asia and globally, he noted. The U.S. and China are expanding military-to-military contacts. There are plans for joint counter-piracy operations by U.S. and Chinese naval forces.

He also addressed, especially during the question and answer session, areas of concern: Taiwan, the competing interests in the South China Sea among countries of the region, and the ever present problem of North Korea.

Adm. Mullen recognized China's growing military power and he cautioned that such power should be exercised with responsibility, cooperation, and transparency. If China does not approach its growing power in that manner, it could lead to a less stable and secure region.

The U.S. and China, he said, must think locally and globally, look to the future instead of the past, and treat each other with mutual respect. Both powers, he urged, must be committed to "free and open commerce, access to the global commons and the peaceful resolution of conflict."

Reviewed by Francis P. Sempa, Contributing Editor

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Author:Sempa, Francis P.
Publication:American Diplomacy
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Jul 25, 2011
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