From the Washington Post (link):
U.S. generals did not invite China to a meeting last week attended by 91 countries and aimed at boosting cooperation in the U.S.-declared global war on terrorism, the military said on Thursday.
China borders several hot spots, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, and is home to ethnic groups whose members have been detained by the United States as enemy combatants. President Bush has highlighted the importance of working with China in the post-September 11 world.
China was not invited “because the (U.S.) inter-agency coordination requirement and timeline didn’t allow sufficient time to extend an invitation,” Maj. Almarah Belk of the Air Force, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an e-mailed reply to a query from Reuters.
See also U.S. State Department’s “At Pentagon Conference, 91 Nations Address Counterterror Challenges”