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US-China to resume military ties: Pentagon

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WASHINGTON (PTI): US-China military relations are back on track after a lull of eight months as Beijing has agreed to hold a session of talks focused on naval issues in Hawaii in mid-October and broader set of defence consultations in Washington later this year, the Pentagon has said.

The announcement follows the Beijing visit by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence Michael Schiffer who held talks on restoration of US-China military ties, which was suspended by Beijing early this year after the Obama Administration announced sale of arms to Taiwan.

"It's back to where we want it to be, which is resuming the mil-to-mil contacts and relationship. And obviously our hope is that that continues, as the thing that we stressed in these meetings was that we need to get away from the 'on again, off again," Pentagon spokesman, Col Dave Lapan said.

"I can't speak for them. But they did certainly agree that having these types of regular contacts and building this relationship was key to that trust and to avoid the miscommunication and miscalculation," he said.

Lapan said the possibility of a visit to China by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates was discussed during the Schiffer talks, but there was no decision.

"That was a topic of conversation during these talks.

No decisions were made, but we may see something on that in the future," he said.

Gates had been expected to visit China in June, but China did not allow the visit as part of the freeze.


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