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Top Chinese, U.S. military officers hold talks

Top Chinese and U.S. military officers held talks Tuesday in Washington on exchanging views on relations between the two militaries as well as international and regional issues.

The talks were led by Chen Bingde, chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) who is visiting as the head of a PLA delegation, and Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Welcoming Chen's visit, Mullen said the visit was of great importance to the future development of relations between the two armies, sending a positive signal to the world and representing an important step in building reliable relations between them.

Mullen also said developing the military-to-military ties serves both sides' interests, as there is considerable scope for them to cooperate on many international and regional issues.

He said the U.S. side is willing to enhance dialogue and communication with the Chinese side, and expand their cooperation in various areas.

Chen said Chinese President Hu Jintao, during his visit to the United States in January, reached important consensus with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama on building a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit, charting the course for the development of bilateral ties.

"The purpose of my current visit is to implement the important consensus reached by President Hu and President Obama on developing the relations between the two militaries," Chen said.

Chen said his visit is also aimed at further enhancing mutual understanding, boosting mutual trust and promoting cooperation, and working to push for fresh progress in the development of relations between the two militaries.

He expressed the belief that the two armies will unswervingly follow the path of friendly cooperation.

He noted that a healthy, stable, and reliable military-to-military relationship is an important component of the cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit, and should grow further.

Only by respecting and taking care of each others' core interests, and properly handling differences and sensitive issues, can the two sides achieve healthy and stable development of bilateral relations, he said.

Chen expressed China's readiness to work with the U.S. side to advance the relations between the two militaries.

Mullen and Chen also held in-depth discussions on some other issues including the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, anti-piracy efforts, counter terrorism and cyber security, which helped deepen mutual understanding.

Ahead of the talks, Mullen hosted a grand welcome ceremony for Chen at the Fort Myer military base outside Washington D.C., with a 19-gun salute.

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