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

Malaysian PM Ends Vacation Over Floods

Najib Razak had been criticized for golfing in Hawaii with US president while country suffered More

Photogallery Fear Amid Remembrances for Tsunami Victims

Across continent, services and tributes acknowledge 220,000 victims of 2004 Indian Ocean disaster; region remains inadequately prepared, experts say More

Liberia Lawmaker Denies Election Manipulation

Alex Tyler said he’s being used as a scapegoat by people who are refusing to accept defeat in the December 20 special senatorial election More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.

All About America