Talks help promote healthy, steady Sino-U.S. military ties: Chinese defense chief

18:13, 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)

Military talks between China and the United States help promote healthy and steady military ties between the two countries, Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said Monday.

Liang made the remarks at a press conference after he held talks with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Gates' visit came a week ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to the Unites States. Liang said both sides look forward to Hu's visit to the United States.

Gates said at the press conference that cooperation, collaboration and dialogue are in the national security interests of both countries.

Liang said the Sino-U.S. relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world, with China and the United States depending on each other.

Building a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship between China and the United States in the 21st century is meaningful not only for the two countries but for the whole world, said Liang.

"Now, there are new opportunities for the two countries to further develop ties. But there are challenges and difficulties as well," Liang said.

Both sides should join hands in the spirit of "respect, mutual trust, equality and reciprocity" to ensure the healthy and steady development of the relationship, Liang said, adding that both sides have the responsibility to respect each other's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.

"There are many areas where we have mutual interests and can work together. In those areas we have disagreements, those disagreements are best dealt with through constant dialogue and discussion with one another and transparency," Gates said.P Liang said that Chief of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army Chen Bingde will visit the United States at appropriate time in the first half of 2011, adding that exchange of high-level officials and between educational institutions will continue.

Gates' visit to China is an opportunity for the two countries to improve military ties, which cooled over the last year.

Gates' visit was postponed after the Pentagon decided to sell nearly 6.4 billion U.S. dollars of arms to Taiwan in Jan. 2010.

Gates arrived in the Chinese capital Sunday evening. His visit to China is his second one since he took office in Dec. 2006.

Source: Xinhua

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