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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 709-00
November 28, 2000

UNDER SECRETARY LEADS DELEGATION TO CHINA

Walter B. Slocombe, under secretary of Defense for Policy arrived today in Beijing, China, leading a U.S. delegation to conduct the fourth round of Defense Consultative Talks (DCTs) with the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Nov. 29 and 30, 2000. The U.S. delegation includes representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council, Department of State, Joint Staff and U.S. Pacific Command.

PLA Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Xiong Guangkai will lead the PLA delegation which will include representatives from the General Staff Department, the PLA Navy and the PLA Air Force.

The two delegations will hold discussions on a broad range of subjects, including global, regional, and bilateral issues. Slocombe will discuss the U.S. strategy in the Asia Pacific region, our overall China policy, and present U.S. views on a range of current security issues affecting our bilateral relationship. The two sides will also discuss the program of military to military exchanges proposed for next year.

These sub-cabinet level discussions, which were agreed upon during the 1997 Presidential summit, reflect U.S. commitment to engagement with China: to cooperate where we have common approaches and interests and, in those areas where we have differences, to work to resolve them through consultation.

In addition to the formal consultations, Slocombe will also meet with Minister of National Defense Gen. Chi Haotian; Chief of the General Staff Department Gen. Fu Quanyou; and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi.

Slocombe will also travel to Qingdao following the DCTs where he will visit the North Sea Fleet commander and Qindgao naval base facilities before continuing on to Mongolia and Japan.