China says welcomes visit by US defence secretary
Thu, Jul 01, 2010

BEIJING - China's military said Thursday it would welcome a future visit by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, state media reported, one month after a planned visit was called off.

"We still welcome him to visit China at a time which is workable for both sides," Xinhua news agency quoted General Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army, as saying.

The apparent olive branch comes after Beijing abruptly called off a visit by Gates in early June amid military tensions between the two sides, with Gates saying it showed China was reluctant to engage on defence issues.

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