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China, US agree to enhance military ties

China, US agree to enhance military tiesWashington, Aug 20 - Chinese and US defence chiefs have agreed to take new steps to enhance military cooperation between the two countries.

The agreement was reached Monday during a meeting of visiting Chinese Minister of National Defence Chang Wanquan and his US counterpart Chuck Hagel.

Hagel hailed the talks at the Pentagon as "very productive", Xinhua reported.

The efforts were aimed at elevating the bilateral military relationship to new heights for the sake of maintaining regional and global peace and stability.

After the talks, Hagel said he reiterated to the Chinese team the US commitment to build "a positive and constructive relationship" with China.

He said the US-China relationship was important for maintaining stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The US welcomes and supports the rise of a prosperous and responsible China that helps solve regional and global problems," added the Pentagon chief.

The two militaries also agreed to hold more joint exercises.

Chang invited Hagel for an official visit to China next year, which the US defence chief accepted.

Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, also offered to host his Chinese counterpart Fang Fenghui next year.

Chang also announced that at the invitation of the US, the Chinese navy will join the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) for the first time next year.

Held biennially during June-July of even-numbered years in Honolulu, Hawaii, the US-led RIMPAC is the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise.

Chang and Hagel also discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula and cyber security. (IANS)