399 words - September 11, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
In contradiction with the ongoing tensions between China, Japan and other Asian countries over sovereignty issues in the region, the bilateral relations between China and the United States have dramatically improved since President Xi Jinping became President.
In June, a summit hosted by his US counterpart Barack Obama in California clearly showed that convergence has supplanted divergence. The two leaders committed themselves to deepening their "win-win understanding," and analysts suggested this summit might have been the most cordial US-China meeting ever. Agreeing on a large number of issues of common concern, the world's two largest economies could be suspected of building some kind of a condominium aiming to make that sure that their disputes never threaten their intertwined interests.
Beyond diplomatic and political relations, the development of the bilateral relations has materialized on the military stage too. Although, two years ago, the relations between the two countries' military forces were at a standstill, significant drills and meetings in 2013 have boosted trust-building between them.
The navies of China and the United States conducted their second joint counter-piracy exercise in the Gulf of Aden on August 25 after a first one in September 2012. The joint exercise was aimed at strengthening exchanges and cooperation between the two militaries on the maintenance of safety of international waters, a Chinese officer said. A "significant milestone" was the landing of a helicopter from each country aboard the deck of each other's ship, a US Navy officer said about this unprecedented initiative.
On the occasion of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) last week, Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan and his US counterpart Chuck Hagel shared their hope to witness further development of Sino-US military ties. That was with this aim in view that China has agreed to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific Exercise… of which previous editions had come under heavy criticism from China itself.
Such a growing cooperation is "a sign of China's willingness to improve military ties that were often disrupted by US weapons sales to Taiwan," Chinese sources explained. And after decades of Taiwan being the main bone of contention between the two countries, it is now like Taiwan has suddenly disappeared from the two countries' radar screens. Only North Korea's nuclear and missile developments could damage the current momentum.
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