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Adm. Mullen appeared to play down the general’s comments, stating on Twitter that he held “good discussions” in Beijing and noting that the U.S and China “will not agree on everything but now is the time to focus on those things that we can agree on.”

In a speech to a Renmin University on Sunday, Adm. Mullen said the United States is a Pacific power and would remain so, while acknowledging China’s emergence as a new global power.

Contrary to Gen. Chen’s statement that the two sides “found a lot of common ground” during the talks, the comments underline obstacles to what Adm. Mullen said was a key objective during his four-day visit — improving military-to-military relations between the two superpowers.

In a news release issued after the conference, the two leaders announced plans for a series of high-level military visits and joint naval activities this year, according to Xinhua.

Hospital ships of the two navies will conduct exchanges and carry out joint medical and rescue drills; there will be joint anti-piracy exercises in the Gulf of Aden; and U.S. and Chinese armed forces will conduct joint humanitarian rescue and disaster relief drills, Xinhua said.

Besides his talks with Gen. Chen, Adm. Mullen also met Monday with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Guo Boxiong and National Defense Minister Liang Guanglie. He also visited the headquarters of the Chinese army’s Second Artillery Force, which commands China’s strategic nuclear weapons.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.