News / USA

US, China Military Leaders Hold High-Level Washington Talks

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, greets General Chen Bingde, Chief of the General Staff, People's Liberation Army, People's Republic of China at Comny Hall Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall on May 17, 2011.
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, greets General Chen Bingde, Chief of the General Staff, People's Liberation Army, People's Republic of China at Comny Hall Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall on May 17, 2011.

U.S. and Chinese military leaders held their first day of high-level talks in Washington on Tuesday, but postponed a highly anticipated press conference because talks were going so well.

In a brief statement Tuesday, a Pentagon spokesman said the discussions between General Chen Bingde, China's chief of the general staff, and Admiral Mike Mullen, his U.S. counterpart - were productive - so much so that they want to continue them on Wednesday.

The Pentagon did not say what the two military leaders discussed.

General Chen is scheduled to meet with members of Congress on Wednesday, as well as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and President Barack Obama's National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.

He will also deliver a speech at Washington's National Defense University and afterwards hold a joint press conference with Admiral Mullen.

Jonathan Pollack a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution - a Washington based research group - says the rare opportunity for the two military leaders to meet face to face may have triggered the decision to postpone the press conference.

"Too often, these exchanges end up being way too scripted. But, if there was enough worthy of extended conversation, I think that it made very good sense to defer for now the press conference," Pollack said.

Military to military relations between China and the United States have long been challenged and General Chen is the highest ranking Chinese military official to visit the United States in seven years.  

The visit comes just months after Chinese President Hu Jintao held a summit with President Obama in Washington and at a time when analysts say military to military relations between the two countries appear to be improving.

"This visit has not been easy to arrange. This has been a military to military relationship that has been, at best, very unsteady over the last few years. So, both should make the most of the time and opportunity that is there," Pollack said.

Although the Pentagon did not release any details of what the two military leaders discussed, analysts have long pointed to the problem of mistrust between the two sides.

In China, there is concern that the United States is trying to constrain its rise and that Washington does not want Beijing to be a major player on the global stage. In the U.S., there are concerns about the lack of transparency when it comes to China's plans for military development and its ultimate goals.

Pollack says he hopes that is something General Chen addresses when he speaks Wednesday at the National Defense University instead of just giving assurances about China's peaceful intentions.

"The question is whether or not he feels comfortable in that venue to much more directly assess, not what the Chinese say about themselves, but much more the concerns that the U.S. and others have raised about China's military development and long term goals," Pollack said.

After a busy day in Washington on Wednesday, Chen is scheduled to visit several military installations including Norfolk Naval Station on Thursday where he will tour a Navy destroyer and air wing and the Army's National Training Center in Fort Irwin on Saturday. General Chen is scheduled to return home to China on Sunday.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid