The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Military Band and their Australian Defense Force counterparts on Monday staged a joint concert here as part of the landmark, inaugural Australia-China Military Friendship and Culture Week.
The concert marks a historic first for Chinese military taking part in this kind of celebration week with a Western nation, mirroring China's increasing efforts to strengthen mutual trust and engagement with Western powers.
On the coattails of over three decades of economic success, China is committing resources to support its military modernization.
Aircraft carriers, stealth fighter jets and other cutting-edge hardware are now fleshing-out the PLA's arsenal. The increased military power of China, as well as the rise of China, however, has been met with unease among the West powers and in particular the world's largest military spender, the United States.
Ian Bremmer, an American political scientist, said in an interview with CNN this year that the rise of China was leading to inevitable conflict. At the same time, U.S. Congressman J. Randy Forbes has suggested that the United States must invest in new military capabilities under the increased pressure from China.
In turn China has repeatedly stated the defensive nature of its national defense policy and China's willingness to engage in international military exchanges and joint operations.
China's leaders have spoken of the intention and responsibility as a global player to jointly safeguard world peace and meet common challenges alongside other countries.
China has been taking concrete steps to improve communication and transparency with Western partners.
The PLA has now designed several programs including senior- level dialogues, working-level exchanges and practical activities to continue the defense links with Western powers.
Both Chinese and U.S. navies conducted their first joint anti- piracy drills in the Gulf of Aden last September and China will participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific Exercise.
On the other side of the Atlantic, China and Britain set up the Defense Strategic Dialogue in 2012, which, to put it in British Chief of Defense Staff Nicholas Houghton's words, seeks to "better understand not just our capabilities but also the policies that underpin those capabilities."
Meanwhile in Paris, this September witnessed the 12th France- China defense strategic dialogue, which focused on the development of bilateral military ties, as well as international and regional issues of common concern.
These efforts are now starting to bear fruit.
Jonathan Pollack, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institute, said significant progress has been made since the U.S. and China's militaries began their two-way exchanges several years ago, leading to what he presently describes as a "more comfortable" spot.
However, to further develop their relations, China and the Western powers should work together, as partners rather than rivals, to deal with issues such as the global challenge presented by cyber security threats and to build mutual trust, especially in the military field.