|China urges U.S. to reduce surveillance operations (08/27/09)|
BEIJING, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- China has called on the United States to reduce, and gradually put an end to air and sea military surveillance and survey operations to avoid naval confrontations.
The request was made during a special session on maritime safety between the two countries' militaries on Wednesday and Thursday, said China's Defense Ministry.
"China believes the constant U.S. military air and sea surveillance and survey operations in China's exclusive economic zone had led to military confrontations between the two sides," the Ministry said.
"The way to resolve China-U.S. maritime incidents is for the U.S. to change its surveillance and survey operations policies against China, decrease and eventually stop such operations."
The U.S. delegation agreed to continue discussions with their Chinese counterparts on effective methods of ensuring safety of naval vessels and warplanes of the two sides.
The chief negotiators attending the session were Guan Youfei, deputy director for China's Defense Ministry's Foreign Affairs Office, and Randolph Alles, director of the Strategy and Policy Bureau of the U.S. Pacific Command.
The two sides shared views on issues relating to China-U.S. maritime military security in a "substantial" and "candid" manner, and discussed ways and channels to settle relevant problems.
It was the second special session between the two militaries bound by the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA), following a series of incidents in the South China Sea and the Yellow Sea earlier this year.
Since the MMCA came into force in 1998, the two militaries have held seven annual meetings and 13 working group meetings to deal with maritime military matters.