Admiral Robert Willard

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US commander handling Asia on Friday called for greater military relations with China, saying that dialogue between the Pacific powers has not advanced beyond broad strategic issues.

Admiral Robert Willard, head of the US Pacific Command, voiced satisfaction that military dialogue has continued despite frequent storms in US-China relations but said that talks generally focused on comparing strategic views.

‘Advancing the military relationship in other ways – at the operational and tactical levels, getting our two militaries more acquainted with one another through operations or through counterpart visits – has not advanced,’ Adm Willard told a news conference in Washington.

‘I’m gratified that at the strategic level the dialogue has persisted. I’m not satisfied that the military relationship is where it needs to be,’ he said.


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