Friday, July 8, 2011

Mullen flies to China as US plans naval exercise

The top US military officer departs for China Friday in a trip designed to bolster a fledgling security dialogue with Beijing, even as a US naval exercise in the South China Sea threatens to upstage his visit.Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of staff, was to depart Friday for the four-day tour that will include talks with senior officers and a visit to military units, officials said.Mullen -- who in May hosted his Chinese counterpart, People's Liberation Army Chief of General Staff Chen Bingde -- "looks forward to continuing the engagement and dialogue" with Chen in Beijing, the Pentagon said in a statement.

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