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General Dempsey and Chinese General Fang's Joint Press Conference, April 2013

Published April 24, 2013

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey and Chinese General Fang Fenghui held a press conference on April 24, 2013. They discussed the U.S.-China military relationship, especially in regard to addressing North Korean threats, joint military exercises, and cybersecurity.

Excerpt from the conference:

"Q: Do China and the United States have a lot of traditional and nontraditional security threats in the Asia-Pacific region? We all know that currently the PLA tools are fully engaged in rescue operations in Sichuan after the Sichuan earthquake. And we also know from the briefing just now that this year, there will be an HADR exercise and an anti-piracy exercise between the two militaries. So my question is, how can the two militaries have sound interaction in the Asia-Pacific region? And I would like to ask General Fang to answer that question.

GEN. FANG: Thank you for the question. Actually, General Dempsey's visit to China is a very good example of how this sound interaction between our two militaries in the Asia-Pacific region could be – (inaudible) – and also his visit here has brought us opportunities to further develop these military-to-military relationships.

Just now General Dempsey expressed his condolences for the lives lost during the Sichuan earthquake and the Boston explosions, and I would like to thank him for his condolences. And also, General Dempsey has sent his compliments on the PLA troops' rapid reaction after the earthquake.

China is firmly opposed to terrorist activities. And here, I also want to send our condolences to the fallen lives during the explosion in Boston, and also to their families.

The sound interaction between the two militaries in the Asia-Pacific region is very important because it concerns the overall development of our mil-to-mil relationship. It also matters peace and stability in this area.

The Asia-Pacific region is the most dynamic area and has got potential, so it is a responsibility and obligation for the two militaries to main peace and stability here.

Actually, I believe there are four areas where we can do together. First is to endorse that idea of win-win cooperation. The Asia-Pacific region should be a platform for China-U.S. cooperation. Both China and the United States are located in this area and the Pacific Ocean is wide enough to accommodate us both. We should be cooperating partners regardless of the circumstances.

Second, to reflect each other's core interests, we respect the legitimate right and interest of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region and we are glad to see a constructive role by the United States in the regional affairs. It is important for China and the United States to respect each other's core interests and major concerns and to avoid [regional] competition, friction or even confrontations in these areas.

Third, to actively advance cooperation in the security talks, the two militaries can continue to deepen practical cooperation in counterterrorism, antipiracy – (inaudible) – humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, logistics and military medicine. When they try and broaden the scope of cooperation and enrich the content of cooperation to build a positive energy for this huge, new type of military-to-military relationship between our two countries.

Fourth, to respond to potential crises in the Asia-Pacific region: Both China and the United States are important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, hence we should enhance communications, coordination and cooperation to appropriately handle the hot spot issues here and respond to potential crises, so as to play a constructive role to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. "

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