China, US agree to reduce "miscalculation" risk between two armed forces

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Beijing, Jan 11 (ANI): China and the United States have reportedly agreed to jointly reduce the risk of "miscalculation" between the two powerful armed forces.

China had suspended military contacts twice following the U.S. decision to sell arms to Taiwan.

Addressing a news conference at Beijing, Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie and his US counterpart Robert Gates said that they agreed to explore ways to reduce "misunderstanding" and "miscalculation".

"We are in strong agreement that in order to reduce the chances of miscommunication, misunderstanding or miscalculation, it is important that our military-to-military ties are solid, consistent and not subject to shifting political winds," the China Daily quoted Gates, as saying.

Gates also invited the Chief of the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) General Staff to visit Washington in the first half of this year.

Liang said they had "agreed that sustained and reliable military-to-military contacts will help reduce misunderstanding and miscalculation", adding that both sides should join hands in the spirit of "respect, mutual trust, equality and reciprocity" to ensure the healthy and steady development of the relationship.

On being asked about reports that Taiwan is buying MGM140 ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile Systems) surface-to-surface missiles from the US, Gates said the missiles are just for defense use, and were approved in 2008 by the Bush administration. However, he admitted that US arms deals to Taiwan had soured relations.

Gates arrived in Beijing on Sunday evening. He also met Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission and Vice-President, Xi Jinping, on Monday. (ANI)

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