By PNA / Xinhua and U.S. News Agency / Asian
A Defense Ministry spokesman Thursday said the United States’ reinforcement of military deployment in the Asia-Pacific is not conducive to security and mutual trust in the region.
Spokesman Geng Yansheng made the comment in response to U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s remarks at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore earlier this month.
Panetta announced Washington is seeking to increase the U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific by shifting 60 percent of its navy ships to the region by 2020 despite budgetary pressure.
Media reports said that the U.S. military rebalancing is intended to contain China.
China is concerned about Panetta’s remarks, according to Geng.
Deliberately highlighting the military and security agenda, and deploying more military forces in the Asia-Pacific go against the world’s pursuit of peace, development and cooperation, as well as trust among nations in the region, he said.
In response to a U.S.-led maritime exercise in the Pacific Ocean, Geng said it is nothing to be surprised about, but expressed hope that the parties involved will do more things that will maintain peace and stability in the area, instead of the contrary.
The biennial Rim of the Pacific Exercise, the world’s largest naval exercise, is being held from June 27 to August 7 on and around the Hawaiian Islands, with 22 nations and 25,000 personnel participating.
China, Pakistan and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have not taken part in the naval exercise, however.
Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie and Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, met with Samuel Locklear, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, Tuesday.
When asked to introduce the results of the above meetings, Geng said the two sides agreed that they have important common interests in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific.
They also agreed that the two armed forces should boost dialogue and cooperation, so as to jointly contribute to peace and stability in the region, added the spokesman.
“China has always attached great importance to developing military relations with the United States, and is willing to push forward the healthy and stable development of bilateral military ties on the basis of mutual respect, mutual trust, equality and reciprocity,” according to Geng.