China, U.S. announce military exchange plans

08:46, July 12, 2011      

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Chen Bingde (R), Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), meets with Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen in Beijing, capital of China, July 11, 2011. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)

China and the United States announced the details of military exchanges to be conducted in the near future after a meeting between high-level military officials of both nations.

The consensus was reached after talks between Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Chen Bingde and Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen in Beijing.

The commander of one of the PLA's military regions will visit the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Command in the third quarter of this year, while the U.S. commander-in-chief of the Pacific Command will visit China before the end of the year, according to a press release issued after the talks.

Hospital ships of the two navies will conduct exchanges and carry out joint medical and rescue drills, the release said.

Armed forces from both sides will conduct joint humanitarian rescue and disaster relief drills in the third quarter of 2012, according to the release.

The two navies will also carry out joint anti-piracy drills in the Gulf of Aden in the fourth quarter of this year. The two sides agreed to hold working group meetings and annual maritime military security meetings before the first half of 2012, the release said.

The two sides reaffirmed that a sound, stable and reliable military relationship is an important component of China-U.S. relations, according to the release. They pledged to formulate a principle conducive to the development of bilateral military relations and take other actions to promote the progress of the relations, the release said.

The two sides agreed to strengthen military cooperation so as to cope with international and regional security challenges. Both sides will endeavor to maintain peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, the release said.

The two sides reaffirmed the importance of high-level exchanges and dialogues between the two armed forces and vowed to create a favorable environment to this end, according to the release.

Defense consultations, working meetings between the two nations' defense authorities and bilateral consultations on maritime military security will continue to be important methods of communication for both sides, the release said.

The two sides agreed that the chief of the PLA General Staff and the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff will continue to communicate directly through the two countries' defense authorities and hold "candid and effective "discussions on issues of common concern, according to the release.

Mullen started his four-day China visit on Saturday. A welcoming ceremony was held Monday morning ahead of his meeting with Chen.

Mullen is making the visit at the invitation of Chen and in reciprocation for Chen's visit to the United States in May.

Source: Xinhua
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