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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09BEIJING2914 2009-10-21 06:52:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Beijing
Cable title:  

EAP A/S CAMPBELL'S MEETING WITH MND/FAO MG QIAN

Tags:   PREL MARR MASS PHUM PBTS PHSA PINS TW CH 
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FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6498
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BEIJING 002914 

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E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/16/2034
TAGS: PREL MARR MASS PHUM PBTS PHSA PINS TW CH
SUBJECT: EAP A/S CAMPBELL'S MEETING WITH MND/FAO MG QIAN
LIHUA, OCTOBER 14

Classified By: Political Minster Counselor Aubrey Carlson. Reasons 1.4
(b/d).



1. (C) Summary: Major General Qian Lihua, Director of the
Foreign Affairs Office of China's Ministry of Defense,
responded positively, if cautiously, to EAP A/S Campbell's
urging of improved military-to-military relations within a
broader, inter-agency strategic dialogue, but complained that
restrictions imposed by the United States make such advances
difficult. Meeting with A/S Campbell October 14, MG Qian
pointed specifically to the 2000 National Defense
Authorization Act, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, continued
"Tiananmen sanctions" and U.S. treatment of China "as a
threat" as obstacles to improved mil-mil ties. A/S Campbell
stressed the importance of viewing bilateral military ties
from a broader perspective, said the U.S. is looking to
remove obstacles to improved humanitarian, search-and-rescue
and anti-piracy cooperation, made clear U.S. interest in
peace and stability in the region and expressed support for
positive PRC-Taiwan relations. End Summary.

Broader Context for Mil-Mil Relations


--------------------------





2. (C) In an October 14 meeting with Major General Qian
Lihua, Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of China's
Ministry of Defense, EAP A/S Campbell stressed the need to
move beyond the usual military exchanges and high-level
visits, as important as they were, to seek effective measures
to build greater trust and confidence between the two
militaries. A/S Campbell proposed that the next phase of
military-to-military relations proceed within the framework
of a broader strategic dialogue and that it involve key
players from other Government agencies, particularly the
State Department and China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A/S Campbell noted Deputy Secretary Steinberg's recent speech
calling for the development of bilateral relations through
comprehensive dialogue, including between the military
establishments of the two countries, and within a new
framework of "strategic reassurance."



3. (C) Major General Qian responded that China had "taken
note" of the Deputy Secretary's speech on "strategic
reassurance." He responded positively, if cautiously, to A/S
Campbell's proposal for the two militaries to engage in
strategic dialogue within a broader, multi-agency framework.
Qian stated that the PLA agreed that military-to-military
talks should take place within the broader context of
bilateral relations, was willing to expand the military
dialogue to include agencies other than the military, and
welcomed more talks with the State Department. These
efforts, he said, would contribute to better understanding
even if they did not resolve all the problems. The
modernization of the Chinese military would not take place to
the detriment of U.S. interests, he asserted, and the two
sides needed to work together more extensively in more areas.



4. (C) Qian stated that the PLA was already participating in
strategic dialogue through various working groups and
Track-II (i.e., non-government exchanges) fora, including
some this month, the purpose of which was to "reduce
mistrust." Qian said he hoped these dialogues would push
bilateral relations forward or they "will have been a waste
of time." He agreed with A/S Campbell's observation that
although a Track-II approach was of great importance in
building confidence, it was not sufficient to move beyond
present obstacles and could not replace Track I (i.e.,
government-to-government dialogue).

Mil-Mil Relations: "Burden is on the U.S."


--------------------------





5. (C) Qian noted the high-level military visits currently
scheduled and under consideration but stated that although
military-to-military relations were doing quite well, the
military relationship still lagged considerably behind
U.S.-China state-to-state relations. Qian launched into the
PLA's standard litany of assertions regarding obstacles to
improved military relations as a result of U.S. actions,
namely legal restrictions on military cooperation contained
in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2000 and U.S.
arms sales to Taiwan. He said China wished to work with the
United States to bring mil-mil relations in line with
state-state relations but "expects" greater efforts from the
United States to remove these obstacles. He maintained that

BEIJING 00002914 002 OF 003


these obstacles were amplified by virtue of the fact that the
United States had never formally lifted sanctions imposed in
the wake of Tiananmen in 1989.



6. (C) The National Defense Authorization Act of 2000, Qian
claimed, had been very detrimental to efforts to advance
military relations and remained a serious impediment to
further progress. He said the legislation had been cited by
the United States in recent discussions of next year's
arrangements for military exchanges as a reason for not going
further. How could China pursue military-to-military
relations in the face of these constraints, Qian asked
rhetorically. He asked for the elimination of these
restrictions.



7. (C) Turning to the Taiwan issue, Qian said that
cross-Strait relations were improving and were "moving in the
right direction" but could be derailed if the United States
did not adhere to the 1982 joint communique, which "called
for an eventual end to arms sales." He said the U.S.
argument that it was simply supporting a military balance in
the Strait did not hold up in the long run because given the
vast differences in territory, population and economic clout
of the two sides, "the balance cannot last forever." Qian
complained in particular about what he maintained was a
continuing pattern of the United States announcing new
weapons sales to Taiwan or "military-to-military relations
with Taiwan" each time U.S.-China military relations were
restored and began to develop smoothly.



8. (C) Finally, Qian reiterated China's standard line that
its military buildup was defensive in nature and did not
threaten the interests of other powers. He said the United
States did not believe this, so it treated China as a threat,
with the result that China was not enthusiastic about
promoting military-to-military relations in such an
environment. In today's complex international environment,
extensive and constructive military exchanges and cooperation
were essential in order to handle traditional and
non-traditional threats. If the United States did not lift
its restrictions on military exchanges, such cooperation
could not happen, Qian said.

U.S. Response


--------------------------





9. (C) A/S Campbell responded that it was important to view
the U.S. military relationship with China from a broader
perspective than that adopted by Qian in his remarks. A/S
Campbell noted that the United States had played an important
role in China's impressive economic development over the past
30 years by keeping U.S. markets open to China and by
providing a guarantee of peace and stability in the
Asia-Pacific region. A/S Campbell pointed out that PLA
strategic literature was replete with references to the
United States as an enemy and emphasized that while the
United States took China's defensive strategic doctrine
seriously, there needed to be a significant role for the U.S.
military to play in the Asia-Pacific. This, he said,
required a robust partnership with the PLA to be successful.



10. (C) The Administration was reviewing those aspects of
U.S. legislation that impeded better military-to-military
relations on a range of issues with an eye in particular to
removing obstacles to coordinated military responses to
humanitarian needs, joint search-and-rescue operations, and
anti-piracy cooperation, A/S Campbell explained.



11. (C) With respect to the Taiwan issue, A/S Campbell
underscored to Qian that the United States had provided
"public and enthusiastic" support to the new direction of
cross-Strait relations and had made the same point to Taiwan
quietly. He said that the overriding objective of U.S.
policy was not an artificially imposed military equality but
peace and stability in the Strait and region. China's
diplomacy vis-a-vis Taiwan had helped to promote this, he
stated, so in that respect U.S. and Chinese interests were in
alignment.



12. (C) The meeting concluded with A/S Campbell and Major
General Qian agreeing to continue their dialogue and
especially to think about constructive, concrete steps that
could be taken to build trust and to reflect on the new
concepts discussed in their meeting.


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13. (U) The delegation cleared this cable.
HUNTSMAN