Chinese, US defence chiefs hold talks

September 18th, 2012 - 2:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 18 (IANS) Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie Tuesday held talks with visiting US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta who said the key to healthy Sino-US relations is “to establish strong military-to-military relationship”.

Liang expressed the hope that the visit will help Panetta understand China and its armed forces, and promote the healthy and stable development of Sino-US ties, reported Xinhua.

China has made “full preparations” for Panetta’s visit, as several Chinese leaders will meet with him, said Liang.

Liang also recalled his official visit to the US in May as the guest of Panetta, saying that visit achieved positive results.

Prior to the two defence chiefs’ delegation-level talks, they held a closed-door meeting, during which Liang said the two sides had some consensus after exchanging views on issues of common concerns.

Panetta said the US goal “is to have the United States and China establish the most important bilateral relationship in the world. And the key to that is to establish strong military-to-military relationship”.

“The key is to have senior-level interactions that we are engaging in to reduce the potential of miscalculation, and boost real understanding and expand trust between our countries,” he said.

Panetta also said that the US intended to establish a relationship that is healthy, stable, reliable and continuous with China.

Panetta arrived in Beijing Monday evening, kicking off his first visit to China as Pentagon chief.

China is the second leg of his week-long Asia-Pacific visit, which also includes Japan and New Zealand.

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