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China's defense minister to visit US

China's defense minister to visit the US, meet Panetta next week By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' China's defense minister will visit the U.S. despite the controversy in Beijing over the fate of a dissident who sought protection in the U.S. Embassy.

The U.S. Defense Department announced that Gen. Liang Guanglie will arrive Friday on a weeklong visit ' a sign that military ties that were scaled back over arms sales to Taiwan last fall are back on track.

He will meet Monday with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and travel to U.S. military bases.

Spokesman Capt. John Kirby said Panetta is looking forward to visiting Beijing "in the not too distant future."

High-level U.S.-China talks set to begin in Beijing Thursday have been overshadowed by the fate of dissident Chen Guangcheng (chehn gwahng-chung). Beijing has demanded an apology from Washington over the issue.

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