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Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Chinese Chief of Defense Fang Fenghui met to discuss ways the two militaries can work together to advance a new model of US-China military relationships, they announced during a joint press conference at the Pentagon Thursday. Specifically, the two leaders discussed ways to strengthen the military-to-military relationship between the two countries, cooperation on counter-terrorism and counter-piracy, as well as ways to protect against threats in the South China Sea. Dempsey said a number of initiatives are being put in place, including inviting China to join the US in the Rim of the Pacific exercises, and a new secure video conferencing system, among other things that will “build a positive relationship, help us manage risk, and reduce the chance of misunderstanding.” Dempsey also said the pair had a “refreshingly frank dialog” about the differences in opinions on concerns surrounding the South China Sea. “We should all abide by the principle of non-conflict and non-confrontation,” Fenghui said, adding he hopes the US would maintain a neutral view of the conflicts in the South China Sea. “We don’t make trouble, we do not create trouble, but we are not afraid of trouble. … We can fulfill what we have said.” (See also A SEA Change from the July 2012 issue of Air Force Magazine.)