US defence secretary to visit China in September
Beijing: US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta will visit China in mid-September, the defence ministry said here on Thursday.
The Pentagon chief`s visit, which follows his Chinese counterpart General Liang Guanglie`s visit to Washington in May, is part of this year`s bilateral military-to-military exchanges, said Geng Yansheng, the spokesperson for the defence ministry.
The two militaries will conduct exchanges on the mechanism for bilateral contact, military academies and other professional fields, and they will hold joint anti-piracy maritime exercises, Geng said.
Panetta`s visit will come after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits China on September 4-5.
According to Geng, Liang is visiting Sri Lanka, India and Laos from August 29 to September 9, during which he will meet with state leaders, defence officials and military leaders of the three countries.
Liang`s visit to Sri Lanka will be the first for a Chinese defence minister and his visit to India will mark the first such visit in eight years.