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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs