BEIJING (AP) — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is meeting with Chinese leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping (SHEE-jeenping), who just days ago reappeared after a puzzling two-week disappearance.
The meeting in Beijing is part of Panetta's weeklong trip through the Asia Pacific, in a campaign to pursue the U.S. military's increased focus on the region.
The U.S. and China have long had a tumultuous relationship, fueled by America's distrust of Beijing's military build-up and China's concerns about the expanded U.S. military presence.
In repeated statements this week, Panetta has stressed that the new focus on Asia is not aimed at China. But the U.S. has had persistent concerns about China's growing economic and trade dominance in the region.