PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA MINISTER OF DEFENSE COMPLETES VISIT TO THE UNITED STATES
Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, State
Councilor, and Minister of National Defense of the People's
Republic of China, General Chi Haotian departed the United States
earlier today, having completed a 14-day visit that included
stops in New York City and Washington, D. C., as well as U.S.
military facilities in New York, Virginia, Alabama, Texas, New
Mexico, Arizona, and Hawaii.
General Chi was accompanied by a
delegation consisting of senior military leaders from the
People's Liberation Army General Staff and Logistics Departments,
Navy, Air Force, and Strategic Rocket Forces, as well as the
Commander of the Guangzhou Military Region Command, and a
representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
traveled to the United States at the invitation of his
counterpart, Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, who visited
the People's Republic of China in October of 1994.
General Chi's visit was successful in furthering U.S.-China
relations in general and military-to-military relations in
particular, both of which are of great importance to the long-
term political, military, and economic interests of the United
Building on the recent dialog established by Secretary of
State Warren M. Christopher's November trip to Beijing and the
meeting in Manila between President Clinton and President Jiang
Zemin, General Chi's visit allowed for frank discussion of a wide
range of issues, including non-proliferation, military-to-
military relations, and Asia-Pacific regional security.
United States reiterated its position that further progress in
areas such as human rights and fair trade practices are critical
to the development of a full bilateral relationship.
At the same
time, the two sides agreed on the need for continued dialog and
emphasized the importance of developing a relationship in which
areas of agreement and disagreement can be discussed in an open
and frank manner.
Regarding efforts to curb the spread of weapons of mass
destruction and their means of delivery, as well as of
destabilizing conventional arms, the United States noted its
particular concern over developments in the Persian Gulf.
was urged not only to maintain and expand its commitments to
nonproliferation regimes, but also to refrain from destabilizing
weapons sales to rogue states, such as Iran.
The two sides affirmed their shared interest in a peaceful
resolution of the Taiwan issue.
The United States emphasized
that our interest is in maintaining peace and stability in the
With that goal in mind, the United States
reiterated its commitment to a one China policy in accordance
with the Three Joint Communiqus and, at the same time, a
steadfast commitment to all U.S. obligations to Taiwan.
Both sides also expressed their support for further efforts
to promote stability on the Korean Peninsula -- an issue which
has significant, direct influence on U.S. security interests.
General Chi indicated that China would continue to play a
constructive role, working to maintain a nuclear-free Korean
Peninsula and encouraging a constructive dialog between the
Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The United States reiterated its support for the four-party
process as a means to bring about this dialog.
Regarding the U.S.-Japan security relationship, the United
States explained that it serves as one of the pillars of a
security strategy which benefits all of the nations within the
Asia- Pacific region, including China.
The United States currently has approximately 100,000 troops
deployed in the Asia- Pacific region.
Contact between these
troops and Chinese military forces is increasingly common.
order to enhance mutual understanding and operational safety,
Secretary Perry suggested that our two countries consider a
military maritime cooperative agreement, and General Chi extended
an invitation for a U. S. briefing team to visit China in early
1997 to explain the proposed draft.
During General Chi's visit to Washington, D.C., the two
sides also came to agreement on a number of specific initiatives
designed to enhance the U.S.-PRC bilateral military relationship
and also, from the U.S. perspective, to strengthen the U.S.
ability to protect our security interests in the Asia-Pacific
First, China agreed in principle to continued U.S. port
calls to Hong Kong after July 1, 1997, when Hong Kong reverts to
A U.S. briefing team will travel to Beijing in
early 1997 to discuss relevant procedures.
Second, both sides agreed that a Chinese Navy ship will
visit Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States in spring
1997, to be followed by U.S. Navy ship visits to the People's
Republic of China.
Third, the two sides agreed to institutionalize bilateral
defense consultative talks, the first of which is expected to
take place in Washington, D.C. in fall 1997, and be hosted by the
under secretary of defense for policy.
These talks will include
an exchange of views on global and regional security issues;
reciprocal briefings on military topics; and a discussion of
future bilateral military activities.
The talks are intended to
increase mutual understanding and transparency -- both of which
are important factors in the maintenance of peace and stability
in the Asia-Pacific region.
Fourth, the two sides agreed to several visits of senior-
level U.S. and Chinese military leaders in the first half of
Such high-level contacts, scheduled at appropriate
intervals, will allow both sides to advance the confidence
building measures initiated during this visit and will help to
regularize a high-level dialog which is critical not only for
positive military relations, but equally important during periods
During his meetings with the secretary of defense at the
Pentagon, General Chi gave Secretary Perry dog tags from the crew
of a World War II B-24 bomber that crashed in southern China.
The United States expressed appreciation for this gesture, a
reminder of the cooperation between our two countries in the
past, and called for continued cooperation in resolving the cases
of Americans missing in action.
The two sides agreed that a U.S.
team will travel to Beijing in the near future to accept remains
A second U.S. team will travel with Chinese
counterparts to the crash site in early 1997 to study the site
and recover any additional remains.
During visits to military bases, the Chinese delegation
obtained a first-hand view of American military capabilities and
gained an appreciation for the physical, intellectual and moral
strength of our men and women in uniform.
General Chi and
colleagues also had an opportunity to learn about the American
people and our values -- values which serve as the foundation for
our nation's military strength as well as that which our armed
forces serve and protect.
The visit of General Chi largely succeeded in meeting the
objectives set forth prior to the trip.
As a result of the
visit, the United States and the People's Republic of China have
enhanced military-to-military dialog as well as the overall
We have taken the first step towards
developing concrete confidence building measures between our
militaries, a regular defense dialog between our leaders, and
expanding our areas of cooperation.
In doing so, the United
States is serving its own political, economic and security
Moreover, the United States is also serving the broad
interests of our friends and allies in the Asia-Pacific region
who widely support a Sino-American defense dialog as critical to
ensuring their own security.