Tuesday, December 18, 2012

US eyes better ties with China to promote peace

The United States is looking forward to developing its relationship with China so they can work together to promote peace and prosperity.

Brig. Gen. Michael Compton, Strategic Planning and Policy Mobilization Assistant of the US Pacific Command, told The STAR he believes their most important relationship in the next 50 years will be with China.

“We’ve been here a long time,” he said.

“They (China) are building up their military capability very rapidly, much faster than any other country and much faster than the relationships have developed.

“We’re very interested in developing the relationship at the same speed with which it is developing its military capability. It is important.”

Compton said the current military ties between the US and China is “a growing relationship.”

“We are completely tied together economically by rising technologies,” he said.

Compton said economic and diplomatic connections make the relationship between China and the US significant.

“We are together in the world economy and diplomatically and socially through the Internet,” he said. “Now, the military will be a part of that same process.”

Compton said the US and China have a “natural competition” in world trade but that they can work together to address common concerns.

“The standard of living of their people is the most important thing for them,” he noted. “And because of that, I think I have great hope that we can work together.”

Compton could not comment on reports that China is planning to interdict ships entering the West Philippine Sea.

“The US does not take any position on disputed territories, but the international waters open ocean is not a territorial water of any nation,” he said.

Compton said the law of the sea guarantees unimpeded access to all nations engaged in trade.

“It is critical to our national security and the security of the region that ships and commerce be able to flow freely through the sea lines of communication,” he said.

Any nation that would try to illegally impede the flow of commerce would be a source for concern, Compton said.

China claims virtually the entire West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, while the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan have overlapping claims.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said a border defense regulation promulgated by Hainan province allows law enforcement over fishing boats that enter waters under its jurisdiction.

The Philippines has asked China to clarify the policy, believing it is “illegal” and “deserves international condemnation.”-The Philippine Star (December 18, 2012 12:00AM)

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