BEIJING, June 27 (UPI) -- China's top military officials told a visiting U.S. official their country wants to strengthen communication and military cooperation with the United States.
Defense Minister Lian Guanglie and Deputy Chief of the General Staff Ma Ziaotian made the remarks during meeting with Cmdr. Samuel Locklear of the U.S. Pacific Command, China Daily reported Wednesday.
Ma said boosting military exchanges with the United States would be "in the best interest of both peoples, as well as the region and the whole world."
At the same time as they called for greater cooperation, the two Chinese military leaders expressed concern about U.S. surveillance flights near China.
The meeting with Locklear on Tuesday came one day before the start of the largest-ever Rim of the Pacific naval exercises in Hawaii involving 22 nations.
China was not invited to participate or observe.
Russia, India, Mexico, the Philippines, New Zealand, Norway and Tonga are taking part for the first time, Stars and Stripes reported.
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