Pentagon Delegation in Beijing for Military Talks

A senior Pentagon official has arrived in Beijing for two days of talks with Chinese military leaders in the latest of a series of contacts aimed at improving relations between the two countries, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

Walter Slocombe, under secretary of defense for policy, will also visit Qingdao naval base and meet with the commander of China's North Sea Fleet, the Pentagon said.

"Slocombe will discuss the US strategy in the Asia Pacific region, our overall China policy, and present US views on a range of current security issues affecting our bilateral relations," the Pentagon said.

Relations between the two militaries were severed last year after the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was bombed by a US warplane in May.

Beijing has denies US explanations that the bombing was an accident, but the two sides have since resumed military visits and port calls.

The Chinese delegation was to be led by General Xiong Guangkai, deputy chief of the general staff, the Pentagon said.

Slocombe was also to meet with Defense Minister Chi Haotian; People's Liberation Army chief of general staff General Fu Quanyou; and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi.

(China Daily 11/29/2000)

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