Gates will visit China next year

Defense Secretary Robert Gates sought to patch up damaged military ties with China by accepting an invitation to visit Beijing next year. He says that the two militaries should not be hostage to the long-standing U.S. political relationship with Taiwan. The United States is worried that China’s increasingly aggressive claims to disputed island chains could disrupt shipping, or even ignite a shooting war. Gates said those disputes, which are the backdrop to an Asian security meeting here, should be resolved peacefully through negotiations.

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