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Chinese military reluctant to forge ties with US: Gates

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates expressed disappointment on Thursday at China`s decision to call off his planned visit and said the Chinese military appeared reluctant to engage in a dialogue with the United States.



Singapore: US Defence Secretary Robert Gates
expressed disappointment on Thursday at China`s decision to call off
his planned visit and said the Chinese military appeared
reluctant to engage in a dialogue with the United States.

Gates told reporters before landing in Singapore for a
security conference that it was his "opinion that the PLA
(People`s Liberation Army) is significantly less interested in
developing this relationship than the political leadership of
the country".
China has denounced US arms sales to Taiwan announced in
January and the move by Beijing appeared to fit a familiar
pattern of postponing some scheduled high-level exchanges with
the American military as a gesture of displeasure.

Gates defended the arms sales, saying it was nothing new
and had not affected political or economic ties with Beijing.
"The reality is these arms sales go back to the beginning
of the relationship," he said, referring to the normalisation
of US-China ties in the 1970s.

Gates had planned to visit Beijing as part of an Asian
tour this week, which includes an annual security conference
in Singapore attended by senior military officials including
from China.

PTI

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