Gates Meets with US Allies at Asian Security Conference

Posted June 3rd, 2011 at 5:25 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. and Chinese defense chiefs say military relations between the two countries have made some progress and are moving in a positive direction.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his Chinese counterpart, General Liang Guanglie, made the statement Friday in Singapore, where they held talks ahead of the start of the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference.

Earlier Friday, Gates met with Japan's defense minister, Toshimi Kitazawa. The two renewed their support for a controversial plan to relocate a U.S. military base on Japan's Okinawa island. Gates and Kitazawa issued a joint statement saying the plan is the most viable way forward.

Gates also met with Malaysia's prime minister, Najib Razak, and Singapore's defense minister, Ng Eng. Eng joined Gates in voicing support for Washington's continued engagement in Asia and for its cooperation in addressing transnational security threats and enhancing regional security.

This is Gates' fifth and final Asia Security Summit as U.S. defense secretary.

Delegates from 27 countries are attending the security conference, which runs through Sunday.