Chiefs of U.S., Chinese navy agree on need for cooperation

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Navy photograph by PO1 Nathan Laird

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson meets with Adm. Wu Shengli, Commander of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), at the PLAN headquarters in Beijing. Richardson is on a multi-day trip to China to meet with his counterpart to and tour the Chinese North Sea fleet in Qingdao. The goal of the engagement is to improve mutual understanding and encourage professional interaction between the two navies.

BEIJING–Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson met with People’s Liberation Army (Navy) (PLA(N)) Commander Adm. Wu Shengli during professional and social events held July 18 at navy headquarters in Beijing.

The goal of the engagement was to improve mutual understanding and encourage professional interaction between the two navies.

“I appreciate the opportunity to visit China and to meet with Adm. Wu Shengli in person-there is no substitute for these types of face-to-face meetings,” said Richardson. “My goal is to forge a relationship built on frankness and cooperation. Given the responsibilities that our navies have, we must work together and speak candidly-when we agree as well as when we have differing opinions.”

“I am very happy to receive you here today,” said Shengli. “We attach great importance to your visit. Your visit to China, at our invitation, shows how both sides put great priority on maritime issues.”

The two leaders had frank and substantive conversations on the importance of operating safely, in accordance with international law; future opportunities for the two navies to engage; and the South China Sea.

The visit, which has been in works for months, was Richardson’s first visit to China as the chief of naval operations and his first in-person meeting with Shengli. Over the last year, the two admirals have held three discussions via video teleconference.

CNO will travel next to Qingdao, home of the Chinese North Sea Fleet, where he is scheduled to visit the Chinese Navy’s submarine academy and tour the aircraft carrier Liaoning (CV-16).