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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 149-96
March 22, 1996

CHINESE DEFENSE MINISTER VISIT POSTPONED

Defense Secretary William J. Perry has postponed the anticipated April visit of China's Minister of National Defense, General Chi Haotian, to the United States. In a letter to Minister Chi delivered in Beijing last night Washington time, Secretary Perry said that he remained committed to a continuing and constructive security dialogue between the U.S. and China. However, he said that he is postponing the visit because a large-scale official visit is not appropriate in the current climate. The Chinese news agency has reported the postponement.

Dr. Perry supports continuing security discussions between the U.S. and China until the official visit can be rescheduled. "I believe that through such dialogue, we can reduce tensions and help restore relations," Dr. Perry explained.