Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Tuesday held talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (L) meets with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta at the Pentagon in Washington, the United States, Feb. 14, 2012. [Liu Jiansheng/Xinhua]
As the two countries share more and more common interests, they also share more and more important common responsibilities, Xi said.
Xi said both countries should make efforts to ensure the development trend of the two countries' mutually beneficial relationship, enhance mutual trust, deepen cooperation and manage divergence properly, in order to better maintain and develop the cooperative partnership between the two countries.
Reviewing the past year's high-level military exchanges and dialogue between the two sides, Xi noted that the relationship between the two military establishments is an important part of China-U.S. ties, and must subject to and serve the bilateral cooperative partnership as a whole.
He said he hoped the two countries' defense apparatus, based on the principle of mutual respect and mutual trust, equality and reciprocity, will continue to expand dialogue and exchanges.
He said he also hoped that the two countries' defenses would respect and tend to each other's major concerns, nurture and enhance strategic mutual trust in an effort to build a healthy, stable and mature military to military relationship.
Panetta and Dempsey welcomed Xi to the United States. Panetta said "it is truly an honor" to host Xi at the Pentagon.
They noted both the United States and China are Pacific powers, and enhancing cooperation can serve the interests of both countries as well as those of the entire world.
The U.S. expressed the belief that it is essential for both countries to enhance mutual trust in order to advance their cooperative partnership.
Panetta and Dempsey said the U.S. is willing to work with China to conduct more high-level visits, enhance mutual strategic trust, and build a robust military to military relationship that can benefit the bilateral relationship as a whole.
Before the talks, the U.S. held an elaborate ceremony for Xi. He passed through an honor cordon, and received full military honors, including a 19-gun salute and the playing of both the Chinese and U.S. national anthems.