Defence Minister Liang Guanglie has started a week-long official visit to the United States, where he will meet state and military leaders, an opportunity for both sides to strengthen communication and military co-operation.
Liang is the first Chinese defence minister to visit the US in nine years. His American counterpart, Leon Panetta, said they would hold talks at the Pentagon tomorrow.
“There are a lot of issues we have to discuss … North Korea … the ability to have free trade in that region,” Penetta said. He also expected to discuss management of open sea lanes, humanitarian assistance and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
“What I am hoping is that we can establish at least a process whereby we can communicate with one another on a peaceful basis,” he said.
Shanghai-based military expert Ni Lexiong said the competing claims over sovereignty in the South China Sea issue would be another key issue.
“Since the Philippines and Vietnam are keen on winning the US’s support when dealing with China about their territorial disputes in the South China Sea, Liang and Panetta might exchange their views on this sensitive issue,” he said.
Liang later in the week will visit leading US military installations, including the home port of the US Pacific Fleet in San Diego, California, the US Southern Command in Florida, Fort Benning in Georgia, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, and the military academy at West Point.
- ‘Breakthroughs’ in Sino-US talks (chinadailymail.com)
- China reach in focus at U.S.- Philippine security talks (chinadailymail.com)
- U.S. triples military aid to Philippines in 2012 (chinadailymail.com)
- The Mystery of China’s Restraint in South China Sea (chinadailymail.com)
- Clinton urges China to help on Iran, N Korea (todayonline.com)
- China’s defense minister to visit US (miamiherald.com)
South China Morning Post