Gates Trip to China Fails to Achieve Major Objectives

Gates Trip to China Fails to Achieve Major Objectives

U.S. officials established several key objectives for Defense Secretary Robert Gates' week-long visit to East Asia earlier this month. It now appears that, at least with respect to China, the trip failed to achieve its key goals.

During his Nov. 4-6 stay in Beijing, Gates held a 90-minute conference with Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan, a shorter meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, and additional sessions with other Chinese officials and journalists. Although Gates had visited China before, this was his first official trip since becoming Secretary of Defense last November.

One of Gates' major objectives was to induce the Chinese government to increase information-sharing regarding its defense plans and policies. The United States and other countries have repeatedly urged Beijing to make its military budget, planning, and other activities more transparent in order to minimize misunderstandings related to China's defense programs.

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