Wednesday May 27, 2020


July 11, 2011

Admiral Mike Mullen, the US Joint Chiefs Chairman, began his four-day official visit to China on Sunday.  Although the US and China have lately been focused on improving military-to-military relations, this trip by Mullen is the first such trip in over four years. It comes a few months after Mullen’s Chinese counterpart, Chen Bingde, led a similar delegation to the United States.

Following the Dalai Lama’s visit to the White House in January 2010, and continued US arms sales to Taiwan, relations between the two militaries have been in a state of stagnation. Nevertheless, this ongoing military exchange represents a commitment by both militaries to strive for peaceful cooperation.

Given the recent South China Sea disputes, wherein China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia have each laid conflicting territorial claims, Mullen’s visit comes at a crucial time. While Admiral Mullen has said that the United State’s duty in the region is to its allies, a fact made clear by recent joint military exercises with the Philippines, Japan and Australia, he has also strongly emphasized that the US does not wish to inhibit China’s peaceful and dramatic rise.

After two days in Beijing, Admiral Mullen will travel to the pacific coast to two P.L.A. bases in China’s Shandong and Zhejiang provinces. Reportedly, these bases are home to the P.L.A.’s strategic missile force, the Second Artillery Corps. Mullen is also due to meet with Xi Jinping, Chinese vice president and the projected successor to President Hu Jintao.


For further coverage of this visit, please see the following news sources and commentary:

NYTimes: Joint Chiefs Chairman Meets with Chinese Counterpart

BBC: US-China Spat over South China Sea Military Exercises

China Daily: US Army Chief Begins China Visit

Want China Times: US Maintains Presence in the South China Sea: Military Official


Related News:

Xinhua: Chinese Military Chief to Visit US in May