July 12, 2007

Australia seeks to calm Chinese

Seeking to assure his Chinese hosts that Australia's increasing military cooperation with the United States and Japan was not aimed at containing China, Australian Defense Minister Brendan Nelson stated that "Australia stands ready to work more closely with China" (China Daily, July 10). In a speech at China's National Defense University, Nelson reiterated that Australia's support for U.S. and Japanese development of a ballistic missile defense system was motivated only by concerns regarding North Korea, which "remains a key threat to regional and international stability" (AFP, July 9). Following talks with his Chinese counterpart Cao Gangchuan, Nelson proposed the increase of bilateral military exchanges and announced that Australia, China and New Zealand would hold their first-ever joint maritime exercise in September.

Source: Jamestown Foundation