Rumsfeld holds candid talks with China defense chief
Updated: 2005-10-19 16:50
Calling U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's visit a "big event," Beijing
said the two large and important countries have a broad range of shared
interests and a solid footing for building cooperation.
Defense Minister General Cao Gangchuan
told a joint press conference in Beijing Wednesday that China's priority was to
develop the economy and raise the living standards. China is in no position to
project military power and race militarily with the United States.
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (L) and Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan
share a light moment as they attend a welcoming ceremony at the Chinese
Defense Ministry in Beijing October 19, 2005.
Rumsfeld said his meeting with Cao was "constructive, candid and useful."
"I sense a desire on the part of the minister to find activities and ways we
can work with each other that will contribute to demystifying what we see of
them and what they see of us," Secretary Rumsfeld said.
The atmosphere surrounding Rumsfeld's visit appeared friendly and optimistic,
the Associated Press reported.
Rumsfeld applauded China's dramatic economic successes, noting that when he
first visited Beijing in 1974 as President Gerald R. Ford's chief of staff, the
streets were filled with bicycles, not cars.
In his prepared opening remarks, Rumsfeld, echoing a Pentagon Report on
China's military sent to Congress earlier, said China is raising global
suspicion because its defense spending is not "transparent."