Hagel Congratulates New Chinese Defense Minister
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 3, 2013 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel offered best wishes to China’s new defense minister in a phone call yesterday, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
In a statement released after the call, Little said Hagel congratulated Gen. Chang Wanquan on his new position.
The leaders both expressed their intention to work together to continue to build a military-to-military relationship that serves the vision of both President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Little said.
"The secretary discussed the importance of focusing on areas of sustained dialogue, practical areas of cooperation, and risk-reducing measures,” the press secretary added, and emphasized the growing threat to the United States and its allies posed by North Korea's aggressive pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
Hagel also expressed to Chang the importance of sustained U.S.-China dialogue and cooperation on these issues, he said.
Little noted that Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will visit China later this month, and said Hagel told Chang he looks forward to hearing the results of the visit.
The secretary also invited Chang to visit the United States later this year to continue senior-level military-to-military consultations, Little added.