BEIJING — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates met his Chinese counterpart in Vietnam on Monday for the first time since the two militaries suspended talks with each other earlier this year, calling for the two countries to prevent “mistrust, miscalculations and mistakes.”
His message seems directed mainly at officers like Lt. Cmdr. Tony Cao of the Chinese Navy.
Days before Mr. Gates arrived in Asia, Commander Cao was aboard a frigate in the Yellow Sea, conducting China’s first war games with the Australian Navy, exercises to which, he noted pointedly, the Americans were not invited.
Nor are they likely to be, he told Australian journalists in slightly bent English, until “the United States stops selling the weapons to Taiwan and stopping spying us with the air or the surface.”