Chinese and US Defense Officials Meet for Military Talks

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Senior Chinese and US military officials met in Beijing on Wednesday for the 12th annual Sino-US Defense Consultative Talks. It's the first high-level talks between the two countries following tensions over US arms sales to Taiwan and recent US military plans for the Asia Pacific region.

On Wednesday, Chinese and US defense officials met in Beijing for talks on minimizing the risk of a possible military confrontation.

This is the 12th annual Sino-US Defense Consultative Talks. It's the first top-level talks between the two countries after conflicts rose over US arms sales to Taiwan in September.

The New York Times cited Peking University Center for International and Strategic Studies Deputy Director Zhu Feng saying, "I see this as a signal that bilateral relations will be conducted on less stormy waters... I don't think either side wants to see an action-reaction cycle that turns into a new Cold War."

The Chinese People's Liberation Army Deputy Chief of the General Staff Ma Xiaotian and US Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy led the talks.

The agenda include improving bilateral defense ties, US arms sales to Taiwan, and issues pertaining to North and South Korea and the South China Sea disputes.

Reuters reported the dialogues took place one day after Chinese leader Hu Jintao pushed for "extended preparations for warfare" to protect national security and world peace.

The bilateral talks came close after President Obama told leaders at the APEC summit last month of the US decision to reinforce its presence in the Asia Pacific.

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