• A Chinese ship departs from Guangzhou to sail to the Nansha Islands in 2013.

A Chinese ship departs from Guangzhou to sail to the Nansha Islands in 2013. (Photo : www.usa.chinadaily.com.cn)

A senior Chinese naval commander has expressed hope on Thursday, Oct. 1, that the United States will lessen activities that may lead to misunderstandings, and called on the U.S. to respect China’s core interests, the China Daily reported.

According to the report, both countries are pointing fingers at each other after several incidents were reported involving Chinese and U.S. aircraft and ships in confrontation in air and waters around Asia.

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Pentagon last year claimed that a Chinese jet fighter flew as close as 7 to 10 meters and performed a barrel roll over a U.S. Navy patrol jet.

Admiral Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army, told Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, during a gathering of Asia-Pacific defense officials in Hawaii that the Pacific is an important area for cooperation.

"The prerequisite for win-win cooperation is mutual trust," Sun said during the gathering, as cited by China's Defense Ministry.

"(We) hope the U.S. side will pay great attention to China's concerns, earnestly respect our core interests, avoid words and actions that harm bilateral ties, and reduce activities that could cause misunderstandings or misjudgments," Sun added.

The report said that the PLA admiral made the comments as the United States had docked one of its Navy's most advanced aircraft carriers in Japan to strengthen the 7th Fleet's capability in Asia and boost ties between the U.S. and its closest ally in the region.

Last week, the U.S. announced that it had signed an agreement with China aimed at reducing accidental flare-up between the two militaries, as well as other deals related to a military hotline and rules governing airborne encounters.

China has expressed concerns about the close surveillance conducted by U.S. military vessels and planes near the country's coast, and also expressed disappointment at comments made by U.S. military officials that may have encouraged countries in the region to take a more confrontational mood in maritime territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas.

The report said that the PLA Navy had already accepted an invitation to join the 2016 Rim of the Pacific naval exercise, which it participated in last year for the first time.

Sun, however, believes that the agreement reached during President Xi Jinping's recent state visit to the U.S. gave new momentum to the military-to-military relationship. He urged the two militaries to expand cooperation and build a new sustainable relationship based on mutual trust, cooperation and lack of conflict.

Harris, on the other hand, praised the development of the military-to-military ties between China and the U.S. He said that the confidence building reached by the two sides during Xi's visit will further push the relationship forward and help promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.