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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora