China, US navy officers meet

Updated: 2008-02-27 06:45

QINGDAO -- Chinese and US navy officers concluded an annual maritime military safety meeting on Tuesday, in which the two sides discussed about holding a joint maritime military exercise within the year, said the Chinese Defense Ministry.

The meeting, under the China-US consultation mechanism on strengthening maritime military safety, began on Monday, with the two delegations headed by Zhang Leiyu, deputy chief of staff of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), and Thomas Conant, director for Strategic Planning and Policy of the US Pacific Command.

The two sides exchanged views frankly and in depth on relevant issues concerning China-US maritime military safety, and discussed on holding a joint maritime exercise between the two navies within the year, the Defense Ministry told Xinhua, without disclosing the specific date of the exercise.

The US delegation also met with Zhang Panhong, deputy commander of the PLA North Sea Fleet, and visited the fleets of the Chinese Navy.

The China-US consultation mechanism on strengthening maritime military safety have held 7 annual meetings, 12 working groups meetings and one special meeting since it was set up in 1997, according to the Ministry.

The mechanism has played an important role in enhancing mutual understanding and trust, promoting China-US maritime military safety, and deepening exchanges and cooperation between the two navies.

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