In order to reinforce their ties and produce a more productive military relationship, the US and China have signed a rare agreement. Despite all this, distrust is still present. In order to achieve total trust, Washington has to accept China’s South China Sea ambitions.
The signed dialogue between the US and China serves to bond a cooperation on issues like disaster response, peacekeeping, and counter-piracy, and possibility of the two countries conducting drills together in the future. Mutual army land exercises could even take place next year. This agreement represents the first one signed between the military forces of the US and China in years.
Another point of this meeting between the vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, Fan Changlong and US Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter was to confirm guarantee to reach a consensus to the air-to-air annex before the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the US in September. The purpose of this annex is to lessen the possibility of misunderstandings or accidents between the two countries happening, when aircraft are functioning in close proximity. Mainly, such annex serves to avoid crises, while the dialogue is of the same importance in order to enhance cooperation.
GEN Fan Changlong, vice chair of China’s Central Military Commission, greeted by SECDEF Carter at Pentagon this AM pic.twitter.com/gnpu3a7knk
— Chris Cavas (@CavasShips) June 11, 2015
Guan Youfei, the director of foreign affairs from the Ministry of Defense, stated that the main goal of joint exercises is to see whether the terms of the agreements were adequately executed. According to him, the US has invited China to participate in the Rim of the Pacific Exercises.
In addition to this, the US representative has also addressed the issue and demanded that further militarization is stopped and that any territorial dispute is resolved in agreement with international law.
Beijing entitles them to autonomy over the region of the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands which is in conflict with some other nations along with US key allies in the region.
During the period of the last 18 months, China has succeeded to retrieve some 2,000 acres of land in the South China Sea and to convert it into new islands on an industrial scale. Others did the same but not as fast.
China has also been criticized by the US for setting up mobile artillery weapons on the disputed Spratly Islands. This is a concern because it is not in line with the provisions of international law, and thus should be perceived as a concern.