[IWAR] CHINA military center

From: 7Pillars Partners (partnersat_private)
Date: Mon Jan 19 1998 - 10:20:27 PST

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    Potempkin village? --MW
    China Shows Cohen Secret Air Defense Center
       By Charles Aldinger
       BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen got an
       unprecedented tour of a secret Chinese air defense center on Monday,
       underscoring new openness and warmth after decades of mutual distrust.
       Cohen also signed a naval safety agreement designed to avoid accidents
       and clashes by U.S. and Chinese warships at sea.
       And, he praised a renewed Chinese pledge that China would halt sales of
       C-801 and C-802 anti-ship cruise missiles to Iran, weapons which
       Washington fears might be used in a possible attempt to close Gulf
       Cohen and 14 senior U.S. officials became the first American officials
       ever taken to the seven-story Air Defense Command Center in Beijing.
       The facility tracks thousands of aircraft in the region daily and can
       used to coordinate defense by a number of regional centers against
       missile or air attack, Chinese officials told the visitors.
       "It was an interesting mixture of old and new" technology, said one
       official, who asked not to be identified.
       "They (the Chinese) were fairly comfortable with exploring issues
       (questions from Cohen and others) in an open manner," he told
       While the facility had some computers and other up-to-date equipment,
       could smell vacuum" tubes, the official said, referring to technology
       used years ago to power computers.
       The center appeared to be all above ground and Cohen was admitted
       through a lightly-guarded gate.
       Among the visiting party were Admiral Joseph Prueher, who commands
       America's Asia-Pacific forces, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State
       Stanley Roth,
       U.S. officials described this first visit by foreigners to the
       facility as a breakthrough in building trust with a wary Chinese
       The United States and other Western nations have been pressing hard for
       greater transparency by Beijing on military budgets, planning and
       defense doctrines.
       "This is certainly a concrete sign that the PLA (People's Liberation
       Army) wants more cooperation and is following through on the summit,"
       said one U.S. officer, referring to last October's Washington meeting
       between Presidents Jiang Zemin and Bill Clinton.
       Before holding talks, Cohen and Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian
       signed the Military Maritime Consultation Agreement, one of the
       of the summit.
       The pact provides for annual meetings of senior military officials of
       the two countries to work out maritime procedures.
       "The agreement demonstrates the maturing relationship between our
       militaries," Cohen said.
       "As our naval and air forces have more contact, the agreement will
       increase understanding and reduce the chances of miscalculation," he
       Chi said the agreement "serves the fundamental interests of our two
       peoples and also contributes to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific
       region and the world at large."
       The need for so-called "rules-of-the-road" naval arrangements was
       home by an encounter between the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk and a
       Chinese submarine in international waters in 1996, analysts said.
       In that year, the two navies came eyeball-to-eyeball when the United
       States sent two aircraft carriers to waters near Taiwan where China was
       conducting military maneuvers.
       In a speech to PLA officers at the Academy of Military Sciences, Cohen
       revealed that Chi had promised again to halt sales of C-801 and C-802
       cruise missiles to Iran.
       The pledge was made at the Washington summit, but Cohen said on his
       arrival in Beijing on Saturday for his three-day visit that he would
       follow up on the promise.
       "I must say I was very pleased to have such assurances reaffirmed by
       General Chi today," Cohen said.
       He noted that any disruption of the flow of oil from the Gulf would
       damage China's economy.
       "And should that disruption occur through the use of weapons technology
       provided by China it clearly would also have a damaging effect on
       China's relations with many countries around the world, including the
       United States," he said.
       Cohen told the PLA officers the U.S. military was anxious to continue
       improving relations with the armed forces of the world's most powerful
       Communist nation.
       "Today, China is an Asian power and rightfully so. The United States
       does not fear this, nor do we view China as an adversary," Cohen said.
       "Rather, the U.S. seeks to encourage China to step forward as a
       responsible and cooperative great nation, a nation that preserves its
       unique identity but is more open on security matters and more
       of the rule of law."
       Cohen also reiterated Washington's strong bilateral defense
       relationships with Japan and South Korea and its ties with other Asian
       nations did not threaten China, and in fact provided regional stability
       and prosperity.
       He urged China to form its own bilateral ties with Japan, Korea and
       other neighbors.

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