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PLA, U.S. military to work together
General Fang Fenghui, chief of the People's Liberation Army's Joint Staff Department, holds a welcoming ceremony for his U.S. counterpart, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Beijing on Tuesday. Photo: China Daily
Top Chinese and U.S. military officials agreed to further develop military relations and exchanges amid growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
There are many difficult issues between the United States and China but both share a commitment to work through them, the United States' top general said on Tuesday during a visit to Beijing.
This is Dunford's first visit to China in his position and the highest-ranking military official to visit China since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.
"I think we have to be honest. We have many, many difficult issues where we don't necessarily share the same perspective," Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Fang Fenghui, chief of the Joint Staff Department of the People's Liberation Army.
"We share a commitment to work through these difficult issues," he added, without elaborating.
Fang said China attached great important to his visit and had arranged for him to observe a military exercise.
The two militaries also signed the framework to build a new communication mechanism for their joint staff departments. Since the department plays a crucial role in actual combat operations, experts said the new mechanism would strengthen effective communication, reduce miscalculations and improve risk management in Asia's increasingly complex geopolitical climate.
During the meeting, Fang said that President Xi Jinping and Trump valued the friendly development of the two militaries and developed the blueprint and direction for its development. He said cooperation is the only right option for China and the U.S., and the two sides could be great partners.
"The Chinese military is willing to make efforts with the U.S. side to strengthen strategic communication, increase strategic mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation, appropriately handle problems and disputes and effectively manage and control risks," the ministry cited Fang as saying.
Dunford said the U.S. military will continue to develop Sino-U.S. military relations and added both sides should take every opportunity to deepen communication and tackle current issues in a constructive way.
The two officials also exchanged opinions on Taiwan, the South China Sea and the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and other issues of mutual concern.
Dunford's visit to China is the second of three stops in his trip to Asia. He visited the Republic of Korea on Sunday and travels to Japan later this week.
Over the next few days, the US delegation will observe Chinese military exercises in the northeastern city of Shenyang, as well as hold talks with high-level Chinese military officials.
The United States has called on China to do more to rein in its isolated neighbor North Korea, while China has said it is Washington that needs to be making more efforts to lessen tensions and speak directly to Pyongyang.
This month, China agreed to the toughest United Nations Security Council sanctions to date against the DPRK. China's Ministry of Commerce and customs administration enforced the sanction on Tuesday by fully banning imports of coal, iron, lead, ores, and seafood from the DPRK.
On Monday, the U.S. staged joint military exercises with Japan and would also hold similar exercises with the Republic of Korea in the region next week, which may antagonize the DPRK and undermine regional peace.

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