Chinese, U.S. defense chiefs hold talks

11:13, January 10, 2011      

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Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (R) shakes hands with the visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at a welcome ceremony in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 10, 2011. (Xinhua/Li Tao)

The healthy and stable development of military ties between China and the United States requires joint efforts, Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie told his US counterpart Robert Gates during their meeting in Beijing Monday.

"The Sino-US military relationship has new opportunities for development. It also faces challenges," said Liang when receiving Gates at the headquarters of China's Central Miliary 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 United States, Liang said.

He said Gates, who took office in December 2006, is the third US defense secretary to visit China twice while in office since the two nations normalized diplomatic ties in 1979.

Liang said China appreciates what Gates has done in terms of implementing the consensus reached by the two nations' presidents, as well as his efforts to promote military exchange between the two sides.

Gates said the two presidents believe that military-to-military relations are important.

He added he will do everything in his power to ensure the objectives of the military-to-military relationship are achieved.

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

Gates arrived in the Chinese capital Sunday evening. His visit is seen as an opportunity for the two sides to improve military ties, where there has been some friction over the last year.

Gates's visit to China was postponed after the Pentagon decided to sell a nearly $6.4-billion arms package to Taiwan in January 2010.

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