Top US Officer Urges Chinese-US Security Cooperation

Posted July 10th, 2011 at 9:35 am (UTC-5)
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The top U.S. military officer says Washington is deepening its commitment to the East Asia Pacific region, and says the United States and China must work together to ensure regional security.

Admiral Mike Mullen spoke Sunday at the start of a four-day trip to China, as Beijing remains embroiled in disputes with the Philippines and Vietnam over competing territorial claims in the South China Sea. He told students at Beijing's prestigious Renmin University that the United States is and will remain a Pacific power and that regional challenges are too large and too vital to be blocked by misunderstandings between Beijing and Washington.

China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all claim territory in the South China Sea, with most of those claims centered on the potentially energy rich Paracel and Spratly island chains. China's claim is the largest and it has issued sharp warnings in recent weeks, including threats of military action, to enforce its claims.

Earlier Sunday, Mullen said his visit will include talks with his Chinese counterpart, Army Chief of the General Staff Chen Bingde and others on stalled nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea and the Taiwan issue.

Mullen is also scheduled to visit two Chinese military bases this week.