U.S., China defense chiefs to meet Mon. at Pentagon

The defense chiefs of the United States and China will meet Monday at the Department of Defense to mainly discuss security issues in the Asia-Pacific region, a Pentagon official said Friday.

The first meeting between U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Chinese counterpart Gen. Chang Wanquan was set as both countries remained apart over how to resolve the issue of cyberspace intrusions.

The U.S. and Chinese governments agreed in their high-level talks last month to strengthen the military-to-military relationship and try to make each party aware of the other's major military activities, in an apparent bid to prevent any military-related incidents.

Hagel and Chang will hold a press conference after the talks, during which other issues such as North Korea's nuclear programs and China's claim to the Japan-administered group of islets in the East China Sea are also expected to be taken up.

Ahead of a visit to the Pentagon, Chang will also meet with Adm. Samuel Locklear, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, in Hawaii, the official said.

The general will also visit the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, both in Colorado, to discuss with U.S. officials the possibility of bilateral cooperation in post-disaster relief operations.