Tensions between the United States and China over the latter's military buildup are a little more relaxed today after the two countries agreed to talk more about what they're doing. A top Chinese general said Beijing is prepared to open a "hotline" with Washington for direct talks on military activities. The hotline would involve installing a direct telephone line between the Defense Department and China's Ministry of Defense to avoid miscalculations, according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Lt. Gen. Zhang Qinsheng, chief of military intelligence for the People's Liberation Army, said arrangements for the hotline would be finalized in September during bilateral defense talks. Gates and Zhang were both attending the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, a conference on Asian security organized by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.
--Catherine MacRae Hockmuth