Washington, Jan 08 (Agencies): Ahead of the resumption of Sino-US military-to-military dialogue, the Obama administration has asked China to be more transparent in its defence communication with America, saying there is uncertainty about Beijing's future capabilities and intentions.

"Much like the region itself, China's future remains uncertain," Michael Schiffer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for East Asia policy, said in his remarks at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

"And it is this very uncertainty about China's future capabilities and intentions that makes the military component of the bilateral relationship so extraordinarily challenging and so extraordinarily important to get right," he said.

This is an issue that the US talk quite openly and frankly with the Chinese, he said.

"It is precisely because we seek to avoid the sort of uncertainty and insecurity which if not managed properly can lead to a dangerous and unwanted security competition that we recognise the need to build a healthy military-to-military relationship, ... that as we like to say is sustained, reliable and continuous," he observed.

His remarks came ahead of Defence Secretary Robert Gates' visit to Beijing next week for the bilateral military-to-military dialogue.

Schiffer noted that both President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Hu Jintao have expressed their commitment to seek a positive, cooperative and comprehensive bilateral relationship.

"They are clear that they see the military-to-military component as an integral part of this comprehensive relationship," he said.

Pentagon, he said, wants what both Obama and Hu want, that is sustained and reliable military-to-military contacts at all levels that can help reduce miscommunication, misunderstanding and the risk of miscalculation.

Schiffer said the US has made it clear to China that it stand ready whenever the Chinese Army is ready to engage with it and is serious about getting on with the hard work, the critically necessary work, of building a substantive and meaningful relationship.

"Without putting too fine a point on it, there is some reason to believe that the (Chinese) PLA (People's Liberation Army) is aware of the danger that arises whenever militaries decide to cut off communication with one another," he said.