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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Meets with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta
February 14, 2012

            (Note:  Vice President Xi's remarks are provided through interpreter.)

            SECRETARY LEON PANETTA:  Mr. Vice President, it is truly an honor to be able to host you at the Pentagon today.  The United States and China are Pacific powers, and we welcome the rise of a prosperous and successful China that plays an active and responsible role in regional and global security affairs. 

            We want to work with China to build an open, transparent and inclusive regional security order.  To build a cooperative partnership, it is essential that we enhance mutual trust -- mutual trust and understanding between our two military establishments.

            It is in the interests of both of our countries to work towards genuine strategic transparency and to build trust and cooperation on both sides.  By forging these common bonds and by forging a stronger working relationship, I believe that the United States and China can work together for continued peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

            Again we welcome you here.

            VICE PRESIDENT XI JINPING:  Honorable Secretary Panetta, it's my great pleasure to come to the Pentagon at your invitation and to have this meeting with you and your colleagues, particularly General Dempsey.

            I know you all attach great deal of importance to developing our relationship.  You support mil-to-mil [military-to-military] exchanges and cooperation between China and the United States.  And you want our two militaries to build a constructive relationship.  I appreciate that position.  And I want to thank you for holding the grand ceremony for me.

            I am visiting the United States at the invitation of Vice President Biden.  This is the return visit to the one he made to China last year.

            I come to the United States to deepen mutual trust, expand our cooperation.  I've also come to promote the building of a cooperative partnership between China and the United States based on mutual respect and mutual benefit -- the important agreement reached between our two presidents last year.  I also look forward to exchanging views with you on our overall relationship, but especially our mil-to-mil relationship.

            SEC. PANETTA:  Thank you.

            Q:  Mr. Vice President, are you taking questions from the American press?

            (No audible reply.)

            (Cross talk.)