China ready to end standoff with U.S.
Mar 20,2009 00:00 by UPI

BEIJING -- The Chinese government is ready to end a standoff between a U.S. surveillance ship and five Chinese vessels in the South China Sea, defense sources say.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they have been told by top commanders that China has no plans to increase its military presence in the area, the China Daily reported Friday.

Military analysts in China are saying it is time to leave the dispute behind and concentrate on more important issues facing Sino-U.S. relations, the newspaper says.

Earlier this week U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a Pentagon briefing that he doesn't believe aggressive Chinese behavior toward U.S. surveillance ships in the South China Sea indicates Beijing wants to force the United States out of the area.

Chinese naval officers had accused the U.S. of spying and hunting for data concerning Chinese submarines.

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