China and the United States agreed Monday to open a direct telephone line between the defense ministries of the two countries.
Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan and visiting US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates made the announcement at a joint press briefing after holding talks in Beijing Monday morning.
The Sino-US military hot line is the first of its kind that China has ever established with another country at the defense ministry level.
Discussions on setting up the military hot line have been going on since Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President George W. Bush agreed to advance bilateral military relations during their meeting in April, 2006.
The opening of the military hot line will help enhance mutual trust between the militaries and promote the development of military-to-military relations between China and the US, said Tao Wenzhao, researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
(Xinhua News Agency November 5, 2007)