U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, left, shakes hands with Fan Changlong, vice chairman…
A top Chinese official on Tuesday told visiting U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice that improved military ties between the two countries would require the curbing of “close-in reconnaissance” by U.S. aircraft near China.
“We hope the U.S. can promote the healthy development of new China-U.S. military ties with concrete actions,” the official Xinhua news agencyquoted Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, as saying.
The comments echoed those by other Chinese officials to Rice, who is making her first visit to Beijing as national security adviser in advance of President Obama‘s participation in an APEC summit there in November.
The Pentagon has said the U.S. surveillance flights would continue, even after an Aug. 19 near-collision between a U.S. Navy P-8 patrol craft and a Chinese fighter jet sent to intercept it over the South China Sea near China’s Hainan Island.
The Chinese pilot’s actions — which a Pentagon spokesman called “very dangerous … pretty aggressive and very unprofessional” —nearly sparked a replay of an April 2001 crisis when a collision with a Chinese fighter jet forced a Navy EP-3 patrol plane to land on Hainan. The Chinese held the 24 U.S. crew members for 11 days, releasing them only after a U.S. statement of regret. The aircraft was later returned in pieces, after the Chinese had thoroughly studied its classified equipment.
China has rejected the U.S. characterization of last month’s incident and says it will continue to respond to further surveillance efforts.
CHINA TELLS SUSAN RICE TO CURB U.S. SURVEILLANCE FLIGHTS
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 05:00:00 GMT