According to an article in the New York Times, the US is looking to start a cooperative dialogue with China’s military. The U.S. Army chief of staff explained: “It really is about focusing on a long-term relationship and the importance of us conducting exchanges, conducting institutional visits.” The U.S. continues to be the dominant military power, but given China’s increasingly presiding military presence, economic influence, and geographic location, it is very strategic for the U.S. to build strong bonds with China and establish a predominant presence in Asia.
The U.S. seems to be concern about the engaging discrepancies of territorial claims in the Western Pacific between China and its surrounding countries including Japan, Philippines, and South Korea. However, there is definitely more to the U.S. agenda than simply taking the mediator role and ensuring the international laws are obeyed. Fostering a military relationship with China will keep the U.S. more informed about activities in Asia so as to be able to predict and prepare for unforeseeable events. Moreover, it will promote future security cooperation with one of the most prominent military forces in the world. However, the question that underlies this new cooperative agreement is whether there will be complete reciprocity concerning both parties.