Robert Gates, in China on his first visit as US Secretary of Defense, is expected to meet with leaders including President Hu Jintao to discuss Iran and develop trust between the two countries, AP reported. US government officials are hoping that Gates can persuade the Chinese government to stop selling weapons to Iran, many of which the US claims have found their way to the conflict in Iraq. Gates also plans to persuade China to make stronger efforts to thwart Iran's alleged plans for aquiring nuclear weapons. Gates' visit represents an interest in the development of military trust with China, despite US concerns about China's rapidly growing military budget. Derek Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that Gates' approach is more moderate than that of his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, who he said was quick to highlight the differences between the two countries. Gates's visit to China marks the beginning of a three-country East Asian tour, during which he will also visit Japan and South Korea.