US-China military ties very important: China’s top soldier

Beijing, April 22 (IANS) The interaction between Chinese and US armies is of great importance, Fang Fenghui, chief of the general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, said here Monday.

“(The interaction) not only concerns the relations between the two armies, but also affects the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region,” Fang told a joint press conference after talks with visiting chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, reported Xinhua.

“The Asia-Pacific region has become the most vigorous place in the world and we share the responsibility of jointly safeguarding the peace and stability in the region.”

Fang called on the two nations to further cooperate in the area where both countries locate and co-exist, and become partners in the principles of cooperation and mutual benefit.

He also urged the two sides to respect each other’s key interests and concerns and avoid malignant competition, friction or even conflict.

“We respect the US interests in the region and are glad to see the United States play a constructive role on Asia-Pacific affairs,” Fang said.

The two armies would step up their cooperation in combating against terrorism and piracy, as well as working together on humanitarian rescue and disaster relief missions.

According to Fang, the armed forces of the two countries will hold a joint drill on humanitarian rescue and disaster relief in 2013. A joint anti-piracy drill between the navies in the Gulf of Aden will also be carried out.

Fang also suggested the two nations work together to improve communication and coordination, aiming to deal with any possible crisis in the region.

Dempsey arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a five-day visit, the first since he took office as the highest-ranking US military officer in 2011.

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