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US, China to cooperate more on cyber threat and military

The highest-ranking Chinese military official to visit the United States in nearly a decade was at the Pentagon on Monday.

CNN reported China’s Minister of National Defense, Gen. Liang Guanglie met with US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the two later held a joint press conference.

They discussed cyber warfare, North Korea and announced that the US and Chinese militaries will be conducting a joint anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden.

According to a senior US defense official, the reason for the trip is that “we’d like to have a better understanding of the purpose of the Chinese military modernization program.”

More from GlobalPost: Dissident Chen Guangcheng leaves US Embassy

When asked by a reporter if they discussed Chinese cyberattacks on the US, Liang said “I can hardly agree with the proposition that the cyberattacks directed to the United States are directly coming from China.”

“It’s true, as the general pointed out, that obviously there are other countries, actors, others involved in some of the attacks that both of our countries receive,” Panetta said, the Associated Press reported.

But Panetta said it was important that the countries work together on cyber issues to avoid “any miscalculations that could lead to a (future) crisis.”

Liang will travel to the headquarters of US Southern Command on Tuesday and meet with its commander, Gen. Douglas Fraser. The defense official said that meeting will focus on cooperating on disaster relief and counternarcotics missions.

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