The chief of general staff of the People's Liberation Army will voice concerns over America's role in the Asia-Pacific region and press the US to stop selling arms to Taiwan during a high profile visit to the United States this week. General Chen Bingde (pictured), whose trip is the first in seven years by a PLA chief of general staff to the US, is seen as a sign of improving military ties between the two nations, but analysts expect more symbolism than concrete agreements from Chen's seven-day trip. Chen, who is expected to arrive early today for a week-long visit, will tour the Norfolk naval station in Virginia, the world's largest naval complex; Fort Stewart in Georgia, the home of the US Army's Third Infantry Division; Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, site of the US Air Force's top training facility; and the US Army's National Training Centre at Fort Irwin in California. Military ties between the two countries soured early last year when Beijing suspended high-level defence contacts with the US after Washington approved the sale of a US$6.4 billion arms package to Taiwan. 'Military disputes between China and the US happen from time to time,' said Professor Sun Zhe , an international relations expert at Tsinghua University. 'Both sides now want to prevent military crises becoming a regular thing by having more dialogue.' Qian Lihua, director of the Foreign Affairs Office at the Ministry of National Defence, told Xinhua Beijing would raise concerns about arms sales to Taiwan and 'will definitely respond ... if the US continues to sell weapons to Taiwan'. The second concern Chen would raise, Qian said, was US military surveillance and survey operations in waters near China, the source of 'accidental conflicts' between the two countries. He said Chen would also call on Washington to abolish several laws that limit bilateral military exchanges and hi-tech exports to China. The increasing US presence in the Asia-Pacific region would be another concern, analysts said. 'To China, the Americans come across in quite a blunt way,' said Gary Li, a PLA analyst with the private- sector intelligence firm Exclusive Analysis. On the other hand, the Pentagon sees the Chinese navy becoming increasingly active in the region, operating further from areas that China has traditionally considered part of its core interests and entering zones that were dominated by the US, said Professor Lin Wen-cheng, from Taiwan's National Sun Yat-sen University and a former member of the island's security planning commission. For the US, the 12.7 per cent increase in China's defence budget this year, to 601.1 billion yuan (HK$718.6 billion), will be on the agenda, along with the modernisation of the PLA, according to Ni Lexiong, a Shanghai-based military expert. Sun said he also expected the US would press China to discuss cyber attacks. CIA director Leon Panetta said in January the US was more vulnerable to cyber warfare, and entities in China were behind the highly sophisticated hacking of Google and some 30 other companies in late 2009 that went undetected until January last year. Meanwhile, the USS Hampton - the American nuclear-powered submarine - was making a port call in Hong Kong yesterday , anchored alongside its service ship, the USS Frank Cable.