US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is due to meet his Chinese counterpart Liang Guanglie this week in Singapore, as America vowed for a long-term presence in Southeast Asia and called for enhanced collaboration with China in the region. Guan Youfei, deputy director of Foreign Affairs Office of the Chinese Defense Ministry, announced the arrangement on Monday during a news briefing. He said that Liang would explain China’s defense policies at the conference and re-emphasize Beijing’s commitment to peace in the region. The bilateral talks, which come on the sidelines of Asia’s leading security conference, will be the last opportunity for Gates to meet Liang as defense secretary. This is Gates’ last foreign trip before he steps down on 30th June.