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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke before a security conference in Singapore, June 1, and said some of the following:
Building a positive and constructive relationship with China is...an essential part of America’s rebalance to Asia. The United States welcomes and supports a prosperous and successful China that contributes to regional and global problem solving. To this end, the United States has consistently supported a role for China in regional and global economic and security institutions, such as the G20. We encourage our allies and partners to do the same.
The United States strongly supports the efforts made by the PRC and Taiwan in recent years to improve cross-Strait relations. We have an enduring interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. The United States remains firm in its adherence to a one-China policy based on the three joint U.S.-China communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act.
While the U.S. and China will have our differences – on human rights, Syria, and regional security issues in Asia – the key is for these differences to be addressed on the basis of a continuous and respectful dialogue. It also requires building trust and reducing the risk of miscalculation, particularly between our militaries.
President Obama and President Xi will soon meet for a summit in California, and they have both been clear that they seek a stronger military-to-military relationship. And I am pleased that the dialogue between our armed forces is steadily improving. Over the course of the past year, positive developments have included:
*We hosted then-Vice President Xi Jinping at the Pentagon, and later hosted China’s Minister of Defense;
*Secretary Panetta, General Dempsey and Admiral Locklear led delegations to China recently;
*The first-ever Chinese observation of the U.S.-Philippine Balikitan exercise;
*The first-ever joint counter-piracy exercise in the Gulf of Aden;
*The U.S. invitation for China to participate in RIMPAC, the Pacific’s largest multilateral Naval exercise;
*An agreement to co-host a Pacific Army Chiefs Conference with China for the first time....
In the South China Sea, the United States continues to call on all claimants to exercise restraint as they publicly pledged in 2002, and to seek peaceful means to resolve these incidents. In that regard, we support the recent agreement between China and ASEAN to establish crisis hotlines to help manage maritime incidents. The U.S. also welcomes efforts to start talks on a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea. We encourage claimants to explore all peaceful means of setting their territorial disputes and the use of the dispute adjudication resolution mechanisms provided by the Law of the Sea Convention. Such efforts should not hinder progress towards developing a binding Code of Conduct.
Even as we seek to uphold principles in well-established areas, we must also recognize the need for common rules of the road in new domains.
The U.S. and all nations in the region have many areas of common interest and concern in cyberspace, where the threats to our economic security, businesses and industrial base are increasing. In response, the United States is increasing investment in cyber security and we are deepening cyber cooperation with Allies in the region and across the globe....
We are also clear-eyed about the challenges in cyber. The United States has expressed our concerns about the growing threat of cyber intrusions, some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military. As the world’s two largest economies, the U.S. and China have many areas of common interest and concern, and the establishment of a cyber-working group is a positive step in fostering U.S.-China dialogue on cyber. We are determined to work more vigorously with China and other partners to establish international norms of responsible behavior in cyberspace.
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