Foreign and Military Affairs

China's defense chief arrives in Vietnam

Updated: 2010-10-10 16:56
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China's defense chief arrives in Vietnam
In this Sept 1, 2010 file photo, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (L) reviews an honour guard at Mexican defense ministry in Mexico City. [Xinhua]

HANOI -- Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie arrived here Sunday to attend a regional security conference and visit Vietnam.

At the conference, Liang is expected to elaborate on China's defense policy and proposals on regional security cooperation, said Guan Youfei, a Defense Ministry official, earlier this week.

Liang will have bilateral or multilateral meetings with his counterparts from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the bloc's other dialogue partners on the sidelines of the conference, which starts on Tuesday.

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Liang is scheduled to meet US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said Guan. This will be the first meeting between them after bilateral military ties were damaged in January following the Pentagon's decision to sell weapons worth $6.4 billion to Taiwan, a province of China.

Liang will also meet one-on-one with defense ministers from Australia, South Korea, India and Laos.

The ASEAN defense ministers' meeting plus eight has drawn wide attention as it for the first time gathers defense chiefs from 10 Southeast Asian countries and eight dialogue partners including China and the United States.

Liang will also pay a visit to Vietnam. During his four-day stay in Hanoi, he will meet Nong Duc Manh, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam while the eight dialogue partners invited to the Hanoi conference are Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States.