Friday February 21, 2020


May 16, 2011


China’s Chief of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Chen Bingde led a high-ranking delegation Sunday for a weeklong official visit to the United States. Gen. Chen’s visit, the first in seven years made by a PLA chief of the general staff, provides an opportunity for China and the U.S. to improve bilateral military relations and build on the consensus established during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to the U.S. and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s visit to China earlier this year.  According to Xinhua News Agency, Gen. Chen will utilize his visit to address China’s position on three issues hindering U.S.-China military relations during his visit: U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, reconnaissance by U.S. naval ships and aircraft in China’s exclusive economic zones, and U.S. restrictions on exchanges and technical cooperation between Chinese and U.S. armed forces.

Gen. Chen’s visit kicked-off with a joint concert performed by the PLA Military Band and the U.S. Army Band “Perishing’s Own” at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Monday evening. Notably, this was the first exchange between military bands of the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1979. Among the 2,000-plus concert attendees were Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Zhang Yesui, senior Chinese military officers accompanying Chen in his U.S. trip, and U.S. Army Chief of Staff Martin Dempsey. Over the course of the week, Gen. Chen is scheduled to meet with Adm. Mike Mullen, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Tom Donilon. On Wednesday afternoon, Gen. Chen will deliver a private speech at the National Defense University. Gen. Chen’s high-profile visit will be rounded out with visits to Naval Station Norfolk, Fort Stewart, Nellis Air Force Base and the U.S. Army’s National Training Center.


For further information on General Chen’s visit, please see the following news sources and commentary.

Xinhua News Agency – Chinese Senior Military Official Leaves for U.S. Visit

CNN –Top Chinese General Visits Pentagon

China Daily – “China, U.S. Militaries Seek Greater Harmony

Taipei Times – “China, U.S. Grapple with Military Ties

Voice of America – “Chinese Army Chief to Visit the United States

Washington Post – Visit to US by Chinese Military Seen as Chance to Nudge Forward a Start-and-Stop Relationship

Washington Post – Admiral Says U.S. Would Consider Sending Military Personnel to Study in China if Ties Improve