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Rumsfeld to Make First Visit to China

US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is scheduled to visit China next month, according to Admiral William J. Fallon, commander of the US Pacific Command, speaking in Beijing yesterday.

It would be Rumsfeld's first visit to China since coming into office in 2001. Details of the visit have yet to be decided, Fallon said.

US President George W. Bush is expected to visit China after Rumsfeld's trip, Fallon added.

At the invitation of Liu Zhenwu, commander of the Guangzhou Military Area Command, Fallon arrived in Beijing Monday for his first China tour since assuming his current post.

Fallon said he had very good meetings on Tuesday with Guo Boxiong, vice chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission, Liang Guanglie, chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), and Xiong Guangkai, deputy chief of the PLA General Staff.

He also had talks with Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing Wednesday afternoon before leaving for Shanghai and south China's Guangdong Province.

Fallon said he and senior Chinese military officers agreed it is of great importance for the two sides to enhance military exchanges and cooperation.

The bilateral exchanges in the military field are "an important step" in US-China strategic dialogue. The two armed forces should promote exchanges at different levels, he said.

As to the Taiwan issue, Fallon said the US policy remains unchanged. His country adheres to the one-China policy and hopes the reunification issue will be settled through peaceful means.

(China Daily September 8, 2005)

Sino-US Military Exchanges Maintain Momentum
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