Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met today with China's Vice President and Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in a statement released this morning. “In a session that lasted more than an hour, the two leaders held constructive and candid discussions on a broad range of bilateral issues, with a focus on the U.S-China military-to-military relationship,” Little said.
“The two leaders agreed to work together with a goal of building a stronger relationship capable of cooperatively addressing the security challenges of the 21st century,” Little added, noting Panetta and Xi also discussed the U.S. rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region, the importance of the peaceful resolution of maritime territorial disputes as well as other matters of importance to regional security, including North Korea. “In addition, both leaders engaged in a dialogue about working cooperatively to address a number of other global issues and discussed future cooperation on cyber and space issues," Little said. A day earlier, Panetta met with and held a press conference with Chinese Defense Minister General Liang Guanglie.