WASHINGTON - US Department of Defense Tuesday hailed the "positive momentum" in the US-China military-to-military relations, saying building a long-term relationship between the two armed forces is in the interest of both countries.
A senior defense official, who briefed reporters on background, said the momentum followed successful visits to China by US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in January, and Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States later that month.
"Building a healthy, stable, reliable and continuous military to military relationship is in the interest of both countries, the region and the entire international community," said the official, who is speaking on the conditions of anonymity.
The two countries held their 7th defense ministry working level meeting in Beijing on April 11. In order to further military ties between China and the United States, both sides agreed in the talks to maintain dialogue and communication at all military levels and to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in non-traditional security sectors.
Chinese Defense Ministry announced last week that at the invitation of Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, Chen Bingde, chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, will visit the United States from May 15 to 22.