China's top military officer visiting U.S. military installations
May 7th, 2012
05:20 PM ET

China's top military officer visiting U.S. military installations

By Chris Lawrence

The Pentagon welcomed on Monday the highest-ranking Chinese military official to visit the United States in nearly a decade: China's minister of national defense, Gen. Liang Guanglie.

He met with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in a continuing effort by the Pentagon to understand China's rapid military expansion and build a relationship with the Asian giant.

After the meeting the two announced that later this year Panetta would be travelling to China and the U.S. and Chinese militaries will be conducting a joint anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden.

"We'd like to have a better understanding of the purpose of the Chinese military modernization program," a senior U.S. defense official said. "We want to better understand why China is investing in a very robust and rapid military modernization program, given that when we look around the region we see an area of the world at peace."

The official spoke to reporters about the visit on the condition no name was used.

Liang arrived this weekend and visited a San Diego naval base. He met with a U.S. Navy commander just back from a counterpiracy operation in the Gulf of Aden. The senior Defense official said the Pentagon would like to deepen its counterpiracy operations with the Chinese military.

After meeting with Panetta on Monday, Liang will travel to the headquarters of U.S. Southern Command on Tuesday and meet with its commander, Gen. Douglas Fraser. The defense official said that meeting will focus on cooperating on disaster relief and counternarcotics missions.

On Wednesday, Liang will go to Fort Benning in Georgia and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to meet with non-commissioned officers.

On Thursday he will observe fighter jet training at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina to "demonstrate openness and transparency" on the U.S. side, according to the defense official. The visit will end with a stop at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

On contentious issues such as U.S. military sales to Taiwan and American naval presence in the South China Sea, the official said, "These are issues that come up in these types of exchanges."

The official said the United States will try to allay some of China's concerns over Pentagon's "rebalancing" of its assets to shift more focus, and forces, into the Pacific. "We use every opportunity to engage the People's Liberation Army, and improve their understanding of what we're doing in Asia."

One contentious issue that is likely to be off the table, the official said, is Chen Guangcheng. The Chinese activist sparked a diplomatic storm when he broke out of house arrest and sought refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

"We don't plan to raise that issue," the senior defense official said, and it is unlikely Liang will bring it up.

U.S. and Chinese military officials are also likely to discuss cyberwarfare and China's current relationship with North Korea.

"We continue to have concerns about stability on the Korean Peninsula," the defense official said.

The official refused to say if there were any installations the Chinese asked to see, but were refused.

soundoff (25 Responses)
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    August 31, 2017 at 11:41 pm | Reply
  2. O'Dell

    This is an aweful photo showing one of China's most powerful generals looking with contempt at America's current SecDef from the obama administration. Who allowed this picture?

    August 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  3. captain syphilis

    This is a joke. Usa needs to seriously do something to help economy. Maybe bomb iran. That may help.

    Montgomery is awesome!!

    May 17, 2012 at 9:58 am | Reply
  4. expresevue

    If they are chimps, you must belong to the same species or worst-low life?

    May 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  5. doesn't matter

    better to have your friends close and your enemies closer... you trade transparency for transparency. the u.s. has to understand more about china for our own safety. don't even try to say we are going to show this guy something "secret" or anything they don't already know.

    May 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  6. Please loan money

    Panetta tells Gen. Liang Guanglie, "Hey, let's go in here and I'll let you take me from behind on my Pentagon desk. Do you need any stealth fighter blueprints? Virginia class submarine specifications? Yes, that is correct we've unilaterally disarmed 80% of our nuclear force and will dismantle our defense shield after Obama's re election, when he has more flexibility. Whatever you need, general! Here's the KY jelly. Be gentle, I'm still getting used to my 'Don't ask Don't tell' repeal"

    May 8, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • Thor the Badass Thunder God

      You're obsessed with gay buttsex, i'm pretty sure with your lack of intelligence and friends circles, that could end you up in some pretty bad places

      May 10, 2012 at 12:41 am | Reply
  7. maxine howard

    Man, I had to go through all kinds of procedures to get on a military base. I got a job at the officers club as a waitress, when I was younger. And I am a US citizen!!! LOL!! Use to be so proud of being an American. We are led by a bunch of dumb asses!!!

    May 8, 2012 at 2:08 am | Reply
    • CCCP

      Why are we pretending these guys are anything but the next USSR?. The only difference is they steal technology, whereas the USSR developed their own (though shoddy) stuff. The USSR also didn't deny that they were an enemy, like these guys who think they can play the "frenemy" angle.

      Anyway, to the slut above, I remember you at that club. You were a cheap date and I remember I turned down your offer of marriage for a green card. Thanks for the knob polish, however.

      May 8, 2012 at 4:56 am | Reply
      • spark firestorm

        at least the chinese have their spendings all under control. the debt strapped america doesnt really has a choice but to look for help before its somebodys else's turn to deliver loads of repetitive labour for a slice of bread and a sip of water

        May 8, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Cooze

      You're not too damn bright yourself.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  8. sean

    what next...??? do we give em the nuke codes?? wow unbelievable

    May 7, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Reply
    • Cooze

      Are you really that fucking stupid? Really?

      May 8, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  9. RCDC

    Probably we need to bring in our expert hypnosis on the guy to make our wishes on our favor.

    May 7, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  10. outspoken123

    This is not going to help USA to hide its evil intention.

    May 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Reply
    • Laowai

      美国的恶性吗? 你说, 美国有什么恶性?

      May 9, 2012 at 7:26 am | Reply
  11. billybob

    Really? This just looks like America is scared now...

    May 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • Cooze

      Actually, if anyone's frightened, it would appear to be you.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  12. jeremy

    Look at those 2 chimps in the pict....makes me sick

    May 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
    • Cooze

      I'll bet your crack-whore mom had the same reaction when she shat you out in her roach infested trailer.

      May 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Reply
      • Charles

        We need more true assholes like you to make a perfect sociaty. Kinda sounds like you are on prozac the way you talk.

        May 15, 2012 at 10:40 am |

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