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7th China-U.S. defense ministry working level meeting held in Beijing

The defense ministries of China and the United States held their seventh working level meeting here Monday, arrangements for an upcoming visit to the United States by China's senior military official Chen Bingde were discussed among other things, said a news release of China's Defense Ministry.

Qian Lihua, director of the Foreign Affairs Office with the National Defense Ministry co-chaired the meeting with his U.S. counterpart Michael Schiffer, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia.

Both sides reviewed the development of the relationship between the two militaries. They compared notes on the guidelines of military relations and discussed how to cultivate mutual trust and maritime security issues. International and regional security issues of common concern were also discussed.

The two sides discussed the arrangements for the Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army Chen Bingde's upcoming visit to the United States.

In order to further military ties between China and the United States, both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication at all military levels and to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in non-traditional security sectors. They also confirmed this year's exchange plan between the two armed forces.

China requested that the United States respect its core interests and major concerns, as well as halt weapon sales to Taiwan and military surveillance operations in China's exclusive economic zone.

The U.S. side said sustainable and reliable military-to-military relations play an important role in bilateral ties, adding that the two militaries should conduct an uninterrupted dialogue to boost mutual trust and avoid miscommunications.

The United States attaches great importance to Chen's visit and wishes it a complete success, said the news release.

The working level meeting mechanism between the two countries' defense ministries was established in 2005. It is a key platform for the two countries to exchange opinions on issues concerning military relations.

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