Chinese, U.S. defense chiefs hold talks

Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie held talks Tuesday with visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

Liang, also Chinese state councilor, expressed the hope that the visit will help Panetta understand China and China’s armed forces, and promote the healthy and stable development of Sino-U.S. ties.

China had 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 United States in May as the guest of Panetta, saying that visit achieved positive results.

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

Panetta said the U.S. 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 United States intend 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 brings him to Japan and New Zealand.

Xinhua