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Gates Arrives in China for Meetings With Leaders

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

BEIJING, Nov. 4, 2007 – (Editor's Note: This article was modified from the form in which it was originally published to correct our coverage.)

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Chinese Lt. Gen. Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of staff, greets Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and his wife Becky upon their arrival in Beijing, China, Nov. 4, 2007. Defense Dept. photo by Cherie A. Thurlby

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Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates arrived here today for meetings with Chinese civilian and military leaders.

Gates and his delegation will discuss a full range of regional and global issues. Senior defense officials speaking on background said the secretary will stress moves the Chinese can make to reassure northeast  Asian nations of their military intentions.

China has significantly increased its military budget, upping it $44 billion, and U.S. officials said they would like more details on Chinese military strategy.

"Building military capabilities is fine, but it would serve the interests of peace if they would say how they expect to use these capabilities," the official said. "We would like to encourage the Chinese to be more transparent."

The American delegations will seek more military exercises, more exchanges of military students and leaders and just more military-to-military contacts at all levels.

Gates is prepared to speak with the Chinese about Iranian nuclear ambitions, moves with North Korea and the war on terror. The U.S. delegation expects the Chinese to also bring up Taiwan.

Gates will spend two days in China then move to Korea for consultative talks. He ends his Asian trip with a stop in Japan for talks with civilian and military leaders.

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Robert M. Gates

Click photo for screen-resolution imageSecretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, left center, and his wife Becky, left, meet with Chinese Lt. Gen. Ma Xiaotian, Deputy Chief of Staff, right center, and his wife Madame Zhang Xinhong, right, in Beijing, China, Nov. 4, 2007. Defense Dept. photo by Cherie A. Thurlby  
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