US wants lasting dialogue with Chinese military

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New Delhi, Oct 28 (ANI): The US has called for lasting dialogue with China's military after years of "on-again, off-again" talks, as Defence Secretary Robert Gates welcomed a top Chinese general to the Pentagon on Tuesday.

The 75-minute meeting between Gates and Xu Caihou, vice chairman of the People's Liberation Army Central Military Commission, represented the highest-level visit by a Chinese military official since 2006.

It was also a concrete sign of improving relations with China's armed forces after Beijing halted military-to-military dialogue with Washington last year to protest against a 6.5 billion US arms sale to Taiwan, the China Daily reports.

"We need to break the on-again, off-again cycle of our military-to-military relationship," said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell, summarizing Gates' comments to Xu.

US officials are eager to boost communication with China, a US defence official told reporters after the talks.

Morrell described the meeting as positive and issued a statement detailing ways in which the two countries' militaries would deepen cooperation. He announced that Gates also accepted Xu's invitation to visit China.

Xu said in Washington on Monday that US-Chinese military relations have improved since January's inauguration of President Barack Obama, who will visit China next month.

At Tuesday's meeting, Xu reiterated long-standing obstacles to deepening ties with the US military, a U.S. official said. These included tensions over Taiwan as well as US surveillance of waters off China. (ANI)

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