Long-delayed invitation for US defense chief to visit China unlikely before next yearBy Anne Gearan, AP
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
US defense chief unlikely to visit China this year
WASHINGTON — The United States and China are slowly repairing ruptured military ties but a formal invitation for U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to visit China is not likely this year.
Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell says the two nations are looking for a mutually convenient time for the long-delayed visit — probably early in 2011.
Gates invited a Chinese counterpart to the United States for a bells-and-whistles tour of the Pentagon and U.S. military installations last year. A symbolic reciprocal visit was planned, but relations soured this year over a proposed U.S. arms sale to rival Taiwan.
Gates will see another of his Chinese counterparts next week during Asian security meetings in Hanoi, Vietnam.