2012-07-04 — CHINESE scholars have urged the People’s Liberation Army to take up Australia’s invitation to join the United States and Indonesia in joint military exercises, at the new training area for US marines near Darwin.
Last month, Mr Smith raised the possibility of Chinese involvement when he met Defence Minister Liang Guanglie and Ma Xiaotian, deputy Chief of the General Staff, who many expect will replace General Liang as defence minister during the imminent leadership transition.
Chinese involvement as observers or participants would help soften perceptions in Beijing that the new US marine presence in Australia is part of a broad American effort to “contain” China’s rise.
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“It will be hard for the PLA to reject,” said Zhu Feng, professor of international relations at Peking University.
“I hope the PLA can break from its very conservative tradition and participate in American-centred regional multilateral exercises.”
But PLA participation in the exercises would also involve a break from precedent at a time when the US-Chinese strategic rivalry is deepening.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/china-urged-to-join-usindonesia-military-exercises-20120703-21fsw.html#ixzz1zbmEKMX3