U.S. General Tells China Anti-Missile Test Caused Confusion

The United States' top military commander, Peter Pace, is encouraging military leaders in China to be more transparent as they build up their country's armed forces.

Speaking in Beijing Friday, Pace said during discussions with top military officials, he told the Chinese their anti-satellite test in January sent the world a confusing message about Beijing's military intentions. He pressed Beijing to make their military matters more transparent.

Pace said the Chinese offered no new information on the test, in which a ground-based missile destroyed an aging Chinese satellite.

China has raised new U.S. suspicions, first by testing an anti-satellite weapon in January, then by announcing this month that it is boosting its military budget in 2007 by close to 18 percent, to nearly 45 billion dollars.

Washington has repeatedly said it does not see China as a military threat, but it wants Beijing to be more open on how it is spending its rapidly rising military budget.

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff arrived in the Chinese capital on Thursday for a four-day visit.

China's official Xinhua news agency said that obstacles remain to improving military ties with Washington, including the planned U.S. sale of 400 missiles to Taiwan.

China and Taiwan split in 1949 at the end of a civil war, but Beijing still considers the island as part of its territory. China has vowed to reunite it with the mainland, by force if necessary. Washington is the main arms supplier to Taiwan, and is committed to helping the island defend itself if attacked.