China offers nuclear assurance to Rumsfeld
Updated: 2005-10-20 20:02
Rumsfeld aides who were present during the discussions quoted Jing as saying
it was "completely groundless" to say China was targeting any country with its
strategic nuclear forces.
Rumsfeld gives a
speech to the students at the Military Science Academy in Beijing, on
Jing's operations chief, Senior Col. Kang Hong Gui, gave Rumsfeld a briefing,
complete with Microsoft PowerPoint graphics, on the command's structure and
missile forces training, without details about the numbers of Chinese missiles.
Later, in a meeting with Rumsfeld at the Great Hall of the People, President
Hu Jintao said the visit to the Second Artillery headquarters and Rumsfeld's
other discussions in Beijing will "help the military forces of our two countries
to better enhance their mutual understanding and friendship."
Hu and Rumsfeld also discussed President Bush's planned visit to Beijing in
November, and they agreed to speed up plans to increase military educational
exchanges, a goal Bush has endorsed.
On his first visit to China as defense secretary, Rumsfeld delivered an
address to the Central Party School and fielded questions from several students
and faculty members.
Chinese officials required U.S. reporters to leave the room after the initial
exchange, as planned.
Later, at a joint news conference at the Ministry of
Defense, Rumsfeld's counterpart, Gen. Cao Gangchuan, said U.S.-China relations
are strong, although he noted that it had been five years since an American
secretary of defense visited China. He called Rumsfeld's visit a "big event."