Senior Chinese military official vows to work through difficulties with U.S.

Zhang Tao

A senior Chinese military official on Tuesday pledged to work through difficulties in the development of military relations between China and the U.S., according to a statement released by China's Defense Ministry on its official website.

Fang Fenghui, a member of China's Central Military Commission (CMC) and chief of the Joint Staff Department under the CMC said this as he met Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff who is in Beijing for a three-day visit.

"The Chinese military is willing to make efforts with the U.S. side to strengthen strategic communication, increase strategic mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation, appropriately handle problems and disputes and effectively manage and control risks," said Fang.

Fang said Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump have together mapped out a blueprint on the development of the relations between the two militaries, and pointed out that cooperation was the only correct choice for the two countries, and that both militaries could certainly become good cooperative partners.

Dunford, for his part, said the two militaries should set up a communication and coordination mechanism, in a bid to enhance mutual trust and reduce misjudgment and friction.

The two sides need to resolve the existing problems in a constructive way, he added.

The statement said the two also discussed issues on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Taiwan and the South China Sea, and signed a framework agreement on a China-U.S. military dialogue mechanism.

Before the talks, Fang held a welcome ceremony for the top U.S. military official and accompanied him during an inspection of the guard of honor of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

Earlier this week, Dunford said the U.S. needs China's help in enforcing sanctions against the DPRK. His trip came a week after U.S. President Donald Trump and the DPRK exchanged threats amid rising tensions.

Dunford just concluded his visit to South Korea on Monday.

After his first visit to China as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he is also expected to visit Japan over the next few days.


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