News / Asia

Chinese Army Chief to Visit the United States

Chief of the general staff of China's People's Liberation Army, Gen. Chen Bingde (File Photo)
Chief of the general staff of China's People's Liberation Army, Gen. Chen Bingde (File Photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
William Ide

A top military official from China is scheduled to visit the United States this week on the first such high-level visit in seven years.  The delegation is expected to include several high-ranking Chinese military leaders who will hold talks with U.S. military leaders that officials and analysts say will focus on building trust between the two countries.  

Although 2010 was a difficult year for military relations with China, Sino-American defense ties appear to be on the mend.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited China in January, the two countries held talks in Beijing early last month as well as last week during the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue meetings here in Washington.  This week, Chen Bingde, the chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army, is here for a week-long visit.

China's Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng says Chen's visit will focus on advancing bilateral military relations and that officials will discuss regional as well as global issues. "The Chinese side believes that to push military relations forward, the key is for China and the United States to respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns, and to appropriately handle disputes and sensitive issues.  China stands ready to work together with the United States, enhancing dialogue and exchange, increasing mutual understanding and building up mutual trust," he said.

During his visit to the United States, Chen will meet with his U.S. counterpart, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen, as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. lawmakers.

Abe Denmark, an Asia security analyst and former country director for China affairs at the Pentagon, says the visit is significant. "It's an important sign that both sides see our military to military relationship is important," he said.

Denmark says that China has several goals for this trip, to show that its military relationship with the United States is strong, to advance its message that it has peaceful intentions, while engaging the United States on a broad range of issues, and to learn.  "[China wants] to talk to American military leaders and other leaders throughout the U.S. government and to learn how the United States thinks about China and how the United States thinks about an increasingly multipolar world," he said.

As for the United States, Denmark says it will likely use the talks to show how it is open and transparent, and that bilateral communication is essential. "As China rises and becomes more powerful, communication between China and the United States is going to become increasingly central to sustaining regional and international stability," he said.

Maintaining sustained Sino-American military ties has been challenging.  At various times, Beijing has suspended military relations when disputes have arisen with the United States.  Most recently, it froze military ties with the United States for much of last year, after President Barack Obama approved a $6.4 billion arms deal to Taiwan.

Arms sales to Taiwan have long been a major sticking point in Sino-American relations and analysts say China will likely raise the issue during this week's talks.

China wants the United States to end all arms sales to Taiwan, which it considers a part of its own territory.  But under U.S. law, Washington is obligated to provide weapons systems to the island to help it meet its defensive needs.

Analysts like Abe Denmark say that such disagreements are why the two sides need to meet regularly and build understanding. "I think that understanding is improving.  That being said, I do think that several significant disagreements remain and there are areas within those disagreements where we need to better understand one another in order to reduce chances of misunderstanding and miscalculation," he said.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency says that during Chen's visit this week, he will deliver an address at the National Defense University in Washington and that his delegation will visit several U.S. military installations.  According to the report, a Chinese defense official praised such visits, noting that some of the sites on this week's agenda have not accepted visiting military leaders in years.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid