Watch VideoPlay Video
Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xu Caihou has met with John Hamre, president of a key think tank for Obama administration. As my colleague Wang Guan reports, the meeting heralds a series of senior exchanges this week between Beijing and Washington that could shed some positive signs for bilateral relations.
Emerging from recent cool relations, China and the United States are back at the negotiating table.
John Hamre is not officially representing the US government. But as former deputy defense minister, he now heads a Washington think tank that advises President Barack Obama on key global issues.
Vice Chairman Xu told him China is willing to maintain dialogue to advance bilateral military ties. He believes think tanks can contribute to this process.
Xu Caihou said, "I remember you once said that China's rise presents an OPPORTUNITY to both countries and China's prosperity serves the interests of the Americans.I was impressed by this attitude."
At the meeting, both countries expressed willingness to end the current tension. Discussions on the resumption of high-level military exchanges are also back on the agenda.
Dr.John Hamre, President, Center for strategies and Int'l Studies, said, "I have been asked to relay warm invitation back to my government for visits. I have been in communication with some members of my government while I am here. I think there is genuine interest in Washington too. Well, no, this is something the governments have to work out."
China-US relations have been complicated since the beginning of the year.
First of all, it was Washington's six billion dollar arms sales to Taiwan that drew strong opposition from China.
Senior military dialogue was suspended and scheduled visits postponed.
In March, the US and South Korea staged exercises in the Yellow Sea after the sinking of a South Korean vessel there. China voiced opposition to an exercise so close to its territory.
But experts say this week's meetings between China and US officials are signals that the two sides want to reset the course of bilateral relations.
Wang Guan, Reporter, said, "This week, former US President Jimmy Carter and two of President Barack Obama's advisors will visit Beijing to meet with senior Chinese officials. Observers are expecting the meetings to ease tension in bilateral relations. But they warn that the mistrust between the two militaries, which is rooted in different ideologies and shaped by unfortunate incidents in recent years, will take longer to repair."