WASHINGTON (AP) _ China and the United States agree they should re-establish military-to-military ties, which Beijing broke off last spring in reaction to the mistaken U.S. bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Defense Secretary William Cohen said today.

``They have indicated they would like to re-establish these contacts,'' Cohen told reporters at the Pentagon.

``Having said that, however, there have been no concrete steps taken to re-establish the contacts,'' he added. ``I am hopeful that can come about soon.''

Cohen said he looked forward to visiting China ``when the conditions permit.'' He was to have visited China earlier this year before the NATO air war against Yugoslavia began, but China canceled the visit in protest of the war. All military-to-military contacts were severed after the embassy bombing.

In a related matter, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday recommended confirmation of retired Navy Adm. Joseph W. Prueher as ambassador to China. Prueher is a former commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, whose area of responsibility includes China. He was deeply involved in the Pentagon's efforts to improve and expand military-to-military relations.