U.S. and Chinese military officials met on Friday for "frank" and "candid" talks that included North Korea, maritime security and Iran, part of a bid to restart bilateral military ties, a U.S. official said.
Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, met with General Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the People's Liberation Army, for periodic military talks.
"This meeting was part of a restart of US-China military to military relationship, which is a very important one," Flournoy told reporters.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates will visit China next month as the world's two largest economies try to smooth differences over Taiwan, military exercises and China's response to North Korea's artillery attack last month on a South Korean island.
"I won't say we agreed on every issue. Where we did differ, we had a very candid and frank and productive exchange of views," Flournoy said of Friday's talks.
While the two countries have been at odds over naval drills in seas close to China and over Chinese claims to the South China sea, Flournoy praised China for supporting talks between major powers and Tehran over Iran's nuclear program.
The two officials discussed common interests in stability on the Korean peninsula and "getting North Korea back on a path demonstrating its willingness to denuclearize," Flournoy said.
ReutersLast Mod: 11 Aralık 2010, 12:22