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US 'not trying to hold global power China down'

June 03, 2011 01:50 IST

The United States on Thursday said that it is not trying to 'hold China down,' despite crucial differences over issues like supplying arms to Taiwan and was trying to 'manage' differences with the 'global power.'

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates expressed his satisfaction over the level of relationship between Washington and Beijing.

"We are not trying to hold China down. China has been a great power for thousands of years. It is a global power and will be a global power," Gates told reporters travelling with him enroute to Singapore, according to a transcripts provided by the Department of Defence.

"So the question is, how we work our way through this in a way that assures that we continue to have positive relations in areas like economics and other areas that are important to both of us and manage whatever differences of view we have in the other areas?" he said.

The US is very satisfied with the progress of the relationship. "My first visit to China in this job was in the fall of 2007. I laid out a fairly ambitious agenda for developing our military-to-military relationship," he said.

"We've obviously hit snags and obstacles along the way, but I think we're in a pretty good place now, pretty realistic," he said.

If anything, what all of this has sort of suggested to me is we need more of what is almost always in short supply when it comes to the United States and its government, and that is patience, that these relationships take time to develop, Gates said.

"And we get very impatient because our timelines are always short. And we just we need to understand that these things develop over time," Gates said.

Referring to questions about supplying arms to Taiwan, Gates said this is Administrations obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act.

"We have this discussion in virtually every meeting that we have with the Chinese. I would say that I think under both the Bush and Obama administrations, we have tried to thread the needle pretty carefully in terms of Taiwan's defensive capabilities, but at the same time being aware of China's sensitivities," he said.

"I think both administrations have done this very thoughtfully and very carefully. By the same token, there is just as the Chinese are very open with us about their concerns, we are also open with them about our obligations," he said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington, DC
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