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US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter (R) holds a welcoming ceremony for visiting Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission Fan Changlong (L) in Washington Air Max Mens Sale , the United States, on June 11, 2015. Photo: Xinhua
Top Chinese military official Fan Changlong on Thursday met with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter amid increasing tensions in the South China Sea, as the two countries worked to strengthen communications to avoid strategic misunderstanding.

During the talks at the Pentagon, Fan reaffirmed China's position on the South China Sea issue and urged the US military to reduce its naval and air activities in the region while sticking to its stance of not taking sides on the territorial disputes.

Carter continued to express US concerns around the South China Sea, and called on China and all claimants to implement a lasting halt on land reclamation, said a Pentagon statement.

China and the US have had multiple rounds of exchanges over the South China Sea issue in the past few months. Senior US military officials, including Carter Air Max Womens Sale , as well as politicians have harshly criticized China's construction work on the Nansha Islands, while China repeatedly stated its rights to develop its own territory and said the constructions were principally civilian in nature.

In the meeting with Carter that crowned the visit, his first since 2012, Fan stressed that the South China Sea issue is "only an interlude" in the Sino-US ties, and the two sides should "take the higher ground to look into the far future by paying more attention to other, more important regional and international issues."

The meeting between Fan and Carter has a significant meaning in strengthening cooperation between the two militaries and resolving misunderstandings to avoid miscalculation, Song Zhongping, a military affairs commentator Air Max Shoes Sale , told the Global Times.

Yet the two sides are still keeping their own stance on the issue, suggesting that Washington's strategy to make further contact yet still contain China has not changed or softened, said Song.

"The US will not abandon the close air and maritime reconnaissance toward China, which is at the core of its containing strategy," he added.

Fan's visit is necessary to keep the situation under control and although the candid conversation between the two military leaders may not result in breakthroughs, it could at least improve mutual understanding and establish working patterns for the close interactions between the two militaries in the regions, said Lyle Goldstein, a China maritime scholar with the US Naval War College Air Max Sale , according to China News Service.

Fan, heading a high-level Chinese military delegation, arrived in the US on Monday, where he visited the Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego and the US Army base at Fort Hood, Texas prior to the talk.

Fan also stopped at the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, which will be deployed to Japan to replace the USS George Washington in the Seventh Fleet in a few months. His schedule suggested that the US wishes to improve military transparency with China, which is a positive signal, said Song.

Despite the differences Nike Air Max Black Sale , both leaders emphasized the importance of seeking consensus on further advancing the Sino-US military-to-military relationship, as what Carter described as a "sustained and substantive" based on a shared desire to deepen practical, concrete cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including humanitarian assistance and disaster response, peacekeeping, military medicine, counter-piracy, and constructive management of differences Nike Air Max Sale Online , according to the Pentagon.

Fan proposed the two militaries establish a new kind of military relationship featuring "mutual trust, cooperation, non-conflict and sustainability."

On Friday, Fan is expected to witness, with US Army Chief of Staff Raymond Odierno, the signing of the China-US Army-to-Army Dialogue Mechanism, which will open a new channel for leaders in the two militaries "to raise and discuss issues of mutual concern," according to the Pentagon.

The deal will help bring more frequent communication between the two militaries under a set framework Nike Air Max Mens Sale , said Song, adding that the US welcomes and hopes to improve cooperation with China in more non-traditional security affairs such as humanitarian assistance and anti-terrorism.

Meanwhile, such deals demonstrated that the two militaries have reached a consensus in controlling conflicts despite differences, which would benefit the core interests of both countries, Song noted.

Separately, China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning on Friday left a military port in Qingdao in Shandong Province to undertake a training and testing mission. According to a statement from the People's Liberation Army navy, the mission would evaluate the results of tests on the vessel over the past three years.

The evaluation result will help create a new set of formal standards to guide future training, and extends to the next aircraft carrier Nike Air Max Womens Sale , navy military expert Li Jie told the Global Times on Friday.

Republican US presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during a kickoff rally in Miami, Florida, June 15, 2015. [PhotoAgencies] Columba Bush (L), wife of Republican US presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, stands with his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, and and his son Nike Air Max Shoes Sale , Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, prior to Jeb Bush formally announcing his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in Miami, Florida, June 15, 2015. [PhotoAgencies] Campaign buttons for Republican US presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush are displayed prior to Bush formally announcing his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in Miami, Florida, June 15, 2.

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