U.S. Secretary Defense Robert Gates is in China to rebuild military ties between the two countries. From Reuters:
Gates’s trip to China comes a week ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States for a January 19 summit with President Barack Obama.
U.S. officials hope Gates’s visit will forge progress on security issues and help allay fears that Beijing, with its growing economic and military strength, is increasingly willing to defy U.S. objectives.
Those include a U.S. push for Beijing to take a more assertive stand on Iran’s nuclear program, to do more to rein in North Korea and to become less secretive about the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
“We are in strong agreement that in order to reduce the chances of miscommunication, misunderstanding or miscalculation, it is important that our military-to-military ties are solid, consistent and not subject to shifting political winds,” Gates told reporters after talks with Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie.