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Sino-US Military Leaders Agree to Cooperate Further
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At the Pentagon on Tuesday General Guo Boxiong, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, met US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the two sides agreed to enhance mutual understanding and further cooperation.

At the talks the two had an in depth exchange of views on international and regional security issues, the relationship between the armies of the two countries and a number of other issues of common interest. 

General Guo said the purpose of his visit to the US was to implement the agreement reached by Chinese President Hu Jintao and his US counterpart George W. Bush on increasing exchanges and cooperation between the two armed forces. This was agreed  upon during Hu's visit to the US in April.
He expressed the hope that his visit would help enhance mutual understanding and trust, foster friendship and increase cooperation so as to deepen the relationship between the armies of the two countries. 

The general also briefed Rumsfeld on China's defense policy and the development of its armed forces.
Rumsfeld said China carried considerable weight in the world and soldiers of the two countries should enhance mutual understanding to the benefit of both sides.

At the talks the two countries agreed to conduct joint naval maritime search and rescue exercises this year, cooperate on military archive research involving US-related personnel posted missing or captured before and after the Korean War, further promote exchanges between military academies and young officers and expand cooperation in other areas.

Later in the day General Guo also met with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and they discussed the relationship between the two countries and armed forces, issues related to the world's 'hot spots' and other subjects of mutual interest. 

They agreed that a cementing of bilateral and military-to-military ties was in the interests of both countries and conducive to maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region as well as the world.

Over the two meetings General Guo stressed the Taiwan question was a core issue and both the Chinese people and military regarded it as a matter of great importance and principle.

He expressed the hope that the US would adhere to the three joint communiqués between China and the US and honor its commitment to opposing "Taiwan independence." He also hoped the US would properly handle the issue so as not to send the wrong signals to Taiwan's secessionists.

During the meetings the US side said their government would not change the one-China policy and was opposed to attempts by Taiwan authorities to unilaterally change the status quo across the Taiwan Straits.

On Tuesday evening, General Peter Pace, chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff, hosted a dinner for General Guo.

The Chinese general, who started his week-long visit to the US Sunday night, arrived here Monday evening. 

On Monday he stopped over in San Diego and visited the US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan and the 3rd US Navy Fleet.

(Xinhua News Agency July 20, 2006)

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