News Article

US not to ‘uncouple’ from China says military official

The United States does not want to “decouple” China with any country to choose its sides, and a senior defence official said it offered a smoother perspective on relations that were damaged by a bitter trade war.

China was worried about the US threatening to cut or at least severely curtail economic ties with what has already been referred to as’ decoupling.’ Beijing is concerned that the Trump administration would like a complete separation from China.

Both countries work to resolve their trade dispute with the US announcing a “phase 1” deal with China on trade issues and suspending a tariff increase in October.

Speaking in Beijing at a prestigious Chinese military forum, US Deputy Defense Secretary Chad Sbragia tried to shed a more positive light on relations.

“One area that I would comment and challenge on is the idea that the United States approach is fundamentally based on decoupling,” says Sbragia at a panel on the sidelines of the Xiangshan Forum.

“On personal experience I will tell you that not only is it not US official policies, but it is not even a political discussion that I hear in my day-to-day business.

“If decoupling were the practice, what you would see on a day-to-day basis would be fundamentally different than what you see.” added Sbragia, who heads the US delegation at the Forum, “rebalance and right relationships to ensure that we have equity”

Both countries want to improve stability and strengthen their relationship in order to strengthen crisis avoidance, he said.

It’s not to tear it apart. Instead, it’s to strengthen these ties in some respects. “The US and China have discussed the volatile South China Sea and Japan, Taiwan, and Beijing have been especially worried about US military activity as China’s backyard.

Sbragia claimed that Washington wanted an open, tolerant and integrated Indo-Pacific region based on certain values, such as peaceful dispute resolution, shipping and overflight liberty, as well as fair trade and investment.

“Our treaty alliances in the Indo Pacific are not maintained as a relic of Cold War thinking, as some contend, but are manifestations of our enduring commitment to ensuring our allies and partners are secure in their sovereignty,” he added.

“Our vision of inclusion extends to China as well; competition with China means conflict, and the United States does not ask any country to choose between Washington and Beijing.

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