Hard power to the fore with this bit of reality. It seems some countries seem really keen to check out China’s military hardware with some up close and personal ‘daylight’ spying and intel gathering. Let’s wait and see what China has to say in response.
U.S., Australia want joint exercises with China
The Associated Press
Source – The Army Times
Posted : Thursday Sep 3, 2009 5:45:52 EDT
SYDNEY — Australia and the United States will invite China to take part in joint military exercises to help ease fears about China’s growing military power and improve ties, the top U.S. military officer in the Pacific was quoted as saying in a report Thursday.
Adm. Timothy Keating, head of U.S. Pacific Command, and Australian Defense Force Commander Angus Houston met in Sydney this week and agreed to approach China’s Ministry of National Defense about holding joint naval and land exercises “at the earliest opportunity,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Keating as saying.
Concerns about China’s military expansion and strained relations between Beijing and Canberra highlight the need for improved military and diplomatic ties, Keating said.
“We are anxious to engage with them,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “We want to understand much better than we do now China’s intentions.”
On Wednesday, Keating told The Associated Press in New Zealand that the U.S. had resumed talks with China’s military for the first time in 10 months, amid concerns in Washington over some of the weapons systems Beijing is developing.
Keating said the talks, which started over the weekend, were a “positive signal that China is willing to engage” and would be instrumental in understanding “where they intend to go with their weapons systems and how we can avoid them becoming a threat.”
He said some of the weapons and military capabilities “don’t appear to us to support their notion of peaceful rise and harmonious integration, so we will watch carefully with many others to see how that development unfolds.”
Keating told The Sydney Morning Herald the joint exercises could include small-scale naval and land activities and personnel exchanges.
The Chinese Embassy in Canberra said it was not authorized to comment on the proposed exercises.
Tensions have grown recently between Australia and China over Australia’s decision to grant a visa to an exiled ethnic Uighur activist, and China’s arrest of an Australian mining executive on charges of infringing trade secrets and bribery.