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Vice President Xi Jinping Meets with U.S. Secretary of Defense Panetta
2012-09-19 13:20

On the morning of September 19, 2012, Chinese Vice President and Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) Xi Jinping met with visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the Great Hall of the People.

Xi said that bilateral relations have scored important achievements in recent years, with dialogue, contact and cooperation reaching new highs. Chinese President Hu Jintao and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama have reached consensus on constructing the Sino-U.S. cooperative partnership and seeking to build a new type of relationship between the two major powers, pointing out the direction for the long-term development of the ties, he said. Xi added that as long as the two countries stick to the spirit enshrined in the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques and bilateral joint statements based on respect and equality, through cooperation and for a win-win situation, China and the United States will continue along the path of the new type of relationship.

Xi pointed out that military relations constitute an important part of bilateral ties. Through joint efforts, China-U.S. military ties have maintained the momentum of development and improvement since the beginning of this year, Xi said, hoping for more exchanges and cooperation between the two defense authorities on the basis of respect, mutual trust, equity and mutual benefit. He also expressed hope that Chinese and U.S. defense authorities can remove barriers and enhance mutual trust to promote a healthy and stable development of military relations within the framework of building the China-U.S. cooperative partnership.

Xi expounded China's solemn position on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands. Xi recalled the "September 18 Incident," which directly preceded Japan's invasion of northeast China in 1931, saying Japanese militarism affected not only the Chinese, but also the United States and Asia-Pacific countries. Rather than reflecting on the trauma Japan brought to neighboring countries and some Asia-Pacific countries, Japanese political forces have continued to make mistakes by staging the farce of "purchasing" the Diaoyu Islands, Xi said. He said Japan's "purchase" openly questions the legal effects of the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation and has intensified the neighbors' territorial disputes. Xi said the international community will never tolerate Japan's attempt to deny the outcomes of the World Anti-Fascist War and challenge the post-war international order. "Japan should rein in its behavior and stop any words and acts that undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Xi said. Xi also called on the United States to act in the larger interest of regional peace and stability, mind its words and actions, not to get involved in issues regarding the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands and refrain from doing anything that might escalate tensions and complicate the situation.

Panetta said the U.S. strategic rebalancing in the Asia-Pacific region is aimed at promoting regional stability, peace and prosperity, and developing a constructive relationship between the United States and China is a key condition to this end. It's good to see that U.S.-China state-to-state and military ties have seen positive progress in recent years, Panetta said, expressing hopes for enhancing dialogue and cooperation with China and building a strong relationship between the two major powers. China and the U.S. conducted joint anti-piracy exercise in the Gulf of Aden not long ago and the U.S. side invited China to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific Exercise. Panetta said the U.S. side is concerned about the current situation in the East China Sea, and he listened carefully to China's introduction to the historical factors related to the Diaoyu Islands.He said the United States takes no position in relevant territorial disputes, but the country calls on related parties to refrain from provoking actions while peacefully resolving the issue.

They also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.

State Councilor and Defense Minister Liang Guanglie attended the meeting.

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