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)
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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid