China welcomes Gates visit at `appropriate` time

China has been angry over US` decision to go ahead with arms sales to Taiwan.

Beijing: An official report says the US defence chief would be welcome to visit China at a time "appropriate to both sides”.

The offer reported on Thursday by the official Xinhua News Agency comes just weeks after China rejected an offer to visit by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

Xinhua quoted General Ma Xiaotian, the deputy chief of staff of the People`s Liberation Army, as saying Gates was welcome. Xinhua did not give a reason for the change in policy.
Chinese leaders have been angry over the Obama administration`s decision in January to go ahead with arms sales to Taiwan worth USD 6.4 billion.

Bureau Report

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