China has postponed at least three high-level exchanges with the US military after Washington approved an arms package for Taiwan last month, a Pentagon spokesman said on Wednesday.
But Beijing has yet to cut off all military ties with the United States as it has previously over arms sales to Taiwan and other disputes.
China “has postponed planned exchanges such as their chief of the general staff’s visit to the United States, the commander of US Pacific Command’s visit to China, and a visit to the US by one of China’s military region commanders,” Major Maureen Schumann told AFP.
There were other unscheduled events that China was “not considering for the time being” but nothing had been formally called off, she said.
China has angrily denounced the United States over the past month after President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama and approved a 6.4 billion dollar arms sale to Taiwan.
But despite the tough words, some US officials and analysts say they remain cautiously optimistic that relations between the two powers would not suffer a serious setback.
In late January, China announced it was suspending military ties with the United States and punishing US companies involved in the weapons sale to Taiwan, which Beijing considers a rebel province.
But Chinese authorities allowed the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier to visit Hong Kong last week just hours before Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama.
Schumann said it was “still early to speculate on any additional effects on mil to mil engagements” between China and the United States.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said this week he still planned to visit China later this year.
Although China “routinely uses our military to military relationship to express displeasure,” Schumann said, Washington was “committed to maintaining a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship with China.”