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Iran Press TV

US gen. calls for China-Japan dialog over disputed islands

Iran Press TV

Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:40PM GMT

US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno has called for a dialog between China and Japan amid a simmering territorial dispute over a set of islands.

In a Friday meeting with top Chinese generals aimed at building trust amid rising regional tensions, Odierno said Beijing and Tokyo need to enhance communications to avoid miscalculations.

In November, China set up an air defense identification zone covering East China Sea islands disputed with Japan, demanding civil and military aircraft present flight plans to enter the space.

The US has refused to recognize the zone and continues flights in the area. Japan nationalized several islands in the East China Sea in 2012.

Gen. Odierno also urged China to have closer cooperation with the US military. He told his Chinese counterpart, Lt. Gen. Wang Ning, that both nations had "incredibly professional armies" that should work more closely together, in an effort to propel forward a relationship that has progressed by fits and starts over the past decade.

"We have many common objectives about our countries so I think it's important to have this kind of dialog," Odierno said.

The US military official is set to visit the headquarters of the Shenyang military region tomorrow.

China is also involved in territorial disputes with Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines in the South China Sea.

According to the US Defense Intelligence Agency, China's defense spending reached $240 billion last year, almost twice the officially declared budget. But the country's official defense spending is still less than a fifth of the US.


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