Chinese, US defence ministers meet to strengthen military ties

Monday, January 10, 2011

BEIJING - Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie Monday met with his US counterpart Robert Gates here for talks and called for joint efforts to deal with disagreements between the two sides.

“The China-US military relationship has new opportunities for development. It also faces challenges,” said Liang after receiving Gates at the headquarters of China’s Central Military Commission.

This requires joint efforts of the two sides to resolve disagreements while ensuring the healthy and stable development of military ties between China and the US, Liang was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Gates, who arrived in the Chinese capital Sunday evening, said the presidents of the two countries believe that military-to-military relations are important.

“There are many areas where we have mutual interests and can work together,” he said, adding that disagreements are best dealt with through dialogue and transparency.

Gates’ visit is seen as an opportunity for the two sides to improve military ties, where there has been some friction over the last year, Xinhua said.

Gates is the third US defence secretary to visit China twice while in office since the two nations normalised diplomatic ties in 1979, Liang said.

Gates’s visit to China was postponed after the Pentagon decided to sell a nearly $6.4 billion arms package to Taiwan in January last year.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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