Measures to Ease Tensions in East Asia


China’s Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan

Kyodo News reported that China’s Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan, pictured above, toured the Maritime Self Defense Force destroyer “Takanami” during a visit to a base in Yokosuka on Aug. 31 as part of a five-day trip to Japan.  Cao is the first Chinese defense minister to visit Japan since February 1998.

Recently China has made efforts to increase military to military contacts.  International pressure over soaring Chinese defense budgets combined with a lack of transparency has raised tensions in the region, forcing China to attempt to alleviate these concerns.  China recently hosted visits by top US military officials, and this most recent trip represents a further step in that direction.  These efforts may help to reduce military tensions in Asia.


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