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Chinese defense minister meets U.S. navy chief
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11:30, April 22, 2009

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Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie met with U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead on Tuesday on the sidelines of a four-day celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.

  During the meeting, Roughead offered congratulations to Liang, and expressed his hope that naval forces of the two countries would deepen exchanges and cooperation in the future.

  Liang said China attached great importance to the Sino-U.S. military relations, and had made active efforts to promote their ties.

  Maritime security consultations and joint rescue exercises carried out by the two countries in recent years have enhanced exchanges between the two navies, he noted.

  On the basis of mutual respect and benefits, the PLA Navy was willing to make joint efforts with its U.S. counterpart to properly handle disputes and sensitive issues between the two sides in accordance with the agreement made by heads of the two countries, he said.

  Liang on Tuesday also met with Admiral Metin Atac, commander of Turkey's naval forces, and the Republic of Korea's Chief of Naval Operations Jung Ok-keun, pledging to improve cooperation and ties between the PLA Navy and the two countries' naval forces.

  China launched a grand maritime ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of its navy on Monday off the coast of the eastern city of Qingdao.

  The four-day celebration includes seminars, a sampan race and a fleet review scheduled for Thursday that will feature the first public appearance of the country's nuclear submarines.

  A total of 21 foreign naval vessels from 14 countries, including the United States and Russia, and delegations from 29 countries will take part.

  The PLA Navy was founded on April 23, 1949, with nine warships and 17 boats obtained when a unit of the Kuomintang's second coastal defense fleet defected to the PLA.

Source: Xinhua

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