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Panetta Seeks to Reassure Allies and Defuse China Tension

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta left today on a mission to reassure Chinese leaders that the Obama administration’s pivot to Asia isn’t meant to provoke a confrontation over China’s increasingly assertive posture toward its neighbors.

Panetta will visit China Sept. 17 after stopping in Japan, a longtime U.S. ally in the Pacific. China, with the world’s second-biggest economy, is preparing for a leadership succession clouded by uncertainty.