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PLA diplomacy to ease tensions

By Zhao Shenghan and Wang Chenyan  (China Daily)

16:30, September 04, 2012

A flurry of diplomacy by People's Liberation Army officials is conducive to reducing miscalculations amid recent territorial disputes and neighbors' concerns about China's military strength, analysts said.

Two senior PLA officials are currently visiting Asian countries. Defense Minister Liang Guanglie started a three-day visit to India on Sunday.

India has territorial disputes with China along their shared border but the first visit by a defense minister in eight years will help ease tensions, analysts said.

Liang is scheduled to meet his counterpart A.K. Antony and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday in New Delhi.

Also on Sunday, a PLA delegation, led by the Deputy Chief of General Staff Ma Xiaotian, left Beijing to visit Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore. Vietnam and Malaysia have claims regarding the South China Sea.

The military and Foreign Ministry have conducted a number of intensive exchanges this year, with the emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region. PLA senior military officials have visited about 20 countries.

Cai Yingting, deputy chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army just concluded a visit to the United States.While there, Cai reiterated Beijing's stance over the Diaoyu Islands and opposed any application of the US-Japan security treaty regarding the islands that belong to China.

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