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Open Up! U.S. Tells China

Less than four months after China resumed military to military talks with the United States, the people's republic failed to alert the U.S. or anyone else before it conducted its most recent missile defense test.

And that has at least one influential lawmaker urging the Chinese to do more to open up.

“China’s testing of a ground-based mid-course missile interception technology creates significant questions for the United States and our allies in the region. Most major countries alert the international community when conducting similar missile tests, but China chose not to do so. If ever there was a time for openness, transparency, and military-to-military dialogue, now is it," Rep. Rick Larsen, co-chair of the Congressional US-China Working Group and a senior member of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, said in a statement. “I strongly urge the Chinese government to respond quickly to any request for information from the international community regarding the purpose for conducting this missile test as well as any intentions and plans to pursue similar types of intercepts."

"I'm npt aware that we received any notification before the test," Wallace Gregson, assistant secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, told the House Armed Services Committee today at its first hearing in memory on China and Asian military issues.

When most countries perform national security tests that may result in debris or hazardous conditions they notify the world's airmen and marines to avoid an area using what are called NOTAMs. Inthis instance the Chinese did not even take that rudimentary step, according to David Shear, deputy assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs. Shear told the HASC hearing that the US has "spoken to the Chinese since the test and we have asked them to be more transparent."

Larsen told me during the hearing that he still has "a lot of questions about the test. It walks like a missile test. It sounds like a missile test, but there's a lot we still don't know."

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