Wednesday August 12, 2020


April 14 – April 21, 2013

Amb. Chas Freeman, Adm. William Fallon, and Adm. Yang Junfei talk on board the Shenyang

Amb. Chas Freeman, Adm. William Fallon, and Adm. Yang Junfei talk on board the Shenyang

From April 14 through April 21, the U.S.-China Policy Foundation led a U.S. delegation to China on a series of Track II dialogues to strengthen U.S.-China military relations. The delegation consisted of USCPF President Dr. Chi Wang, Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr., and Admiral William J. Fallon. Ambassador Freeman served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and has a long history of diplomatic involvement with China. Admiral Fallon previously served as head of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Pacific Command. The delegation was hosted in China by the China Institute for International Strategic Studies (中国国际战略学会). CIISS provides research and analysis from military officers and scholars on subjects such as the international strategic situation and China’s national security interests.

The purpose of the delegation was to enhance mutual understanding between the U.S. and China in the often contentious field of military relations. The delegation met with military officials, government leaders, and scholars to discuss the possibility of forging a “new type” great power relationship between China and the U.S. that includes a fresh start in mil-to-mil relations. The delegation spent April 15 through April 18 in Beijing, then departed for Qingdao, home of China’s North Sea Fleet.

While in Beijing, the delegation first met with representatives of CIISS, the Chinese host organization. The delegation held a workshop at CIISS with various experts, including military officers. The participants discussed the U.S.-China military relationship, and also analyzed specific issues such as tensions on the Korean peninsula and in the South China Sea. Later, the delegation held similar workshops at a variety of high-level research institutions, including China’s National Defense University and the Academy of Military Sciences as well as the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.

The delegation was honored to meet with General Qi Jianguo, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and chairman of CIISS, at the Bayi Building. Gen. Qi and the delegation discussed strategies for improving the U.S.-China military relationship and how to handle tensions over current issues. The delegation also met with State Councilor Yang Jiechi in Zhongnanhai. During the meeting, Councilor Yang and the delegation exchanged views on the future of the U.S.-China relationship, especially military relations, and how the two countries can work together in the future.

On April 18, the delegation traveled to Qingdao for a meeting with Admiral Yang Feijun, the Vice Commander of China’s North Sea Fleet. The delegation also had the opportunity to tour a Chinese Luzhou-class destroyer, the Shenyang. The destroyer’s captain, Zhang Changlong, led the tour and a briefing onboard the Shenyang.

The trip provided an important opportunity for Track II diplomacy in the field of U.S.-China military relations. The delegation participants engaged in meaningful discussions with their Chinese counterparts, exchanging concrete proposals for improving mil to mil relations between the two countries. The USCPF would like to thank CIISS for its help in arranging and hosting the delegation. We hope to continue hosting Track II dialogues on mil to mil relations, both in China and in the U.S., to increase mutual understanding and cooperation on this vital issue.

Photos from the trip can be viewed here.

For media coverage of the USCPF delegation’s trip, see the following sources:

People’s Daily : “Qi Jianguo meets with U.S. guests” (English)

Ministry of National Defense of the PRC : “戚建国会见美国美中政策基金会代表团” (Chinese)

China News : “副总参谋长戚建国会见美中政策基金会代表团” (Chinese)

Phoenix TV : “戚建国会见美国美中政策基金会代表团” (Chinese, video)