Gates: Chinese Agree to Consider Strategic Security Dialogue

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday in Beijing he was “pleased” that the Chinese military leadership has agreed to consider beginning a strategic security dialogue with the US military on cyber, missile defense, nuclear, and space issues. Such discussions would be part of the two nations’ broader strategic and economic dialogue and would help “create an environment in which the chances of a miscalculation or a misunderstanding are significantly reduced,” said Gates during a joint press briefing with Chinese defense minister Gen. Liang Guanglie after the two had concluded a meeting on the first day of Gates’ three-day China visit. The Pentagon has been working hard to strengthen military-to-military ties with the Chinese and convince them that more transparency lies in the mutual interest. Gates said he came away from the meeting “optimistic and confident” that the Chinese military leadership is committed to improved bilateral ties. One outcome of the meeting was the agreement to establish a new working group to develop the framework for enhanced cooperation. This group will meet several times in 2011. (Gates-Liang transcript) (See also Gates opening statement)