BEIJING Aug. 31 -- "The US side, when it is undermining China's national interests, should have no illusions that the Chinese military would communicate like nothing happened," said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, at a regular press conference on Thursday.
During the Shangri-La Dialogue this year, the defense ministers of China and the US failed to hold a bilateral meeting, and the US senior military officials' requests for phone calls were repeatedly rejected by China. It's widely believed that the military-to-military exchanges between China and the US are in a state of interruption, which makes the international community worried.
When asked whether China has plans to resume exchanges with the US military and when the mil-to-mil relationship between China and the US will return to normal, Senior Colonel Wu Qian clarified that China-US mil-to-mil engagement isn't stopped. The two sides have been maintaining candid and effective communications through military diplomatic channels. Nevertheless, "there are indeed many difficulties and obstacles in the relationship," Wu admitted, adding that many of such difficulties and obstacles are caused by the US side.
Senior Colonel Wu pointed out that for some time, the US has been sticking to a wrong perception of China and taking unreasonable measures to contain and suppress China. It has brutally interfered in China's internal affairs by selling arms to and strengthening military ties with Taiwan. The US military has sent naval and air troops to China's vicinity to conduct provocative and deterrent military operations. And moreover, the US has refused to remove unfair sanctions on Chinese CMC leader.
Therefore, according to the spokesperson, the Chinese military has every reason to take counter measures. "We have said many times that we have our principles and bottom lines for having communications and dialogues. The US side, when it is undermining China's national interests, should have no illusions that the Chinese military would communicate like nothing happened," Senior Colonel Wu stressed.
In the end, the spokesperson said, "as an old Chinese saying goes, it is up to the one who ties the bell to the tiger to untie it." He required the US side to show real sincerity and take concrete measures to create conditions for the mil-to-mil relationship to return to the right track.