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Asia Trip Meant to Deliver Assurances, Dempsey Says

By Jim Garamone
WASHINGTON — One of the purposes of his visit to Asia and China last week was to deliver assurances, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today. 

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey told reporters gathered for a Christian Science Monitor lunch event that his fourth visit to Asia and first to China was to assure allies of U.S. commitment to the region. 

Dempsey traveled to Seoul, South Korea, as well as to Beijing and Tokyo. In Seoul and Tokyo, he assured South Korean and Japanese leaders that America will work with them to deter current threats and shape the security environment of the future. 

“At the stop in Beijing, we assured them as well that we will continue to work with them … on forming a new relationship,” Dempsey said. 

Military-to-military contacts between China and the United States have started and stopped any number of times since President Richard M. Nixon went to China in 1972. Chinese and American leaders are trying to cement these links. 

Dempsey said the United States wants a more positive relationship with China. 

“But it has to be in the context of our existing relationships,” he added. “Right now, it’s a blank sheet of paper.” 

The Chinese seemed to welcome the exchange, the chairman told the reporters. 

“I think the message resonated,” he said, adding that he believes the trip was useful.