China Military Welcomes Obama Era

Timed with inaugural, Beijing defense report urges cooperation
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 20, 2009 4:57 PM CST
Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Zhang Xi Bo, center right, greets new PLA Air Force troops during its annual rotation of military personnel in Hong Kong Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – China has called for better military relations with the US in its biannual report, whose release analysts say was timed with President Obama’s inauguration, the Financial Times reports. The relationship between the two was strained by the US decision to sell $6.5 billion in arms to Taiwan. “In the new era, we hope that both sides can make joint efforts” to improve relations, said a China defense rep.

The reports are usually released in December, but “this one was delayed to wait for the Obama inauguration,” says a China political expert. China has been frosty toward the Bush administration, insisting for the past two months that it reverse its decision to sell arms to Taiwan. The People’s Liberation Army is hoping for more international military cooperation, the Times notes.