Defense

July 12, 2013

U.S.-China military ties growing, Pacom commander says

Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

The military-to-military relationship between the United States and China is deepening in a quite commendableî way that may help improve overall engagement between the two countries, Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told Pentagon reporters July 11.

During a news briefing, Locklear said he has spent the week here taking part in security, strategic and economic dialogues with Chinese officials, the last two gatherings hosted by the State Department.

I think that the progress that we’re making between our two militaries is quite commendable, the admiral said. ìItís commendable because we are able to have very good dialogue on areas where we converge, and there are a lot of places where we converge as two nations, and we’re also able to directly address in a matter-of-fact way where we diverge.

Those divergences are where the friction points occur, he said.

ìAnd friction points are where militaries that understand each other can maybe not solve the friction,î Locklear added, ìbut they can manage it so that diplomacy can continue to work.

Locklear said both Chinaís military, the Peopleís Liberation Army, and the U.S. military, starting with his own Pacific-based troops, understand that and are committed to it.

I think that alone is significant progress, he added.

Locklear said the growing relationship is evident in events such as a large humanitarian relief exercise in which both nationsí navies recently took part.

U.S. and PLA ships and forces were working side-by-side,î he noted. ìThat’s substantial.

Locklear noted the Navyís USS Shiloh, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, completed a port visit in China. Pacom, he added, will open port visits for Chinese ships in the future, though dates have not yet been confirmed.

He noted that China has agreed to participate in the Rim of the Pacific exercise in 2014. ìThat’s a big step for the Chinese military, Chinese navy,î Locklear said. ìThey’ll be entering a multinational three-week-long exercise that’s basically run by the U.S. from the 3rd Fleet headquarters.

The Chinese sailors will be near Hawaii for the exercise and thus a long way from home, the admiral noted.

But they’re excited about it, he said. ìThey’re excited about coming and participating. And we wish them all the success.

In response to a reporterís question, Locklear said the two nationsí forces ìhave been able to conduct operations around each other in a very professional and increasingly professional manner, especially in areas close to China. As Chinaís maritime capabilities increase, he said, the ongoing dialogue between it and the United States about rules of the road will become more crucial.

Because relatively young and inexperienced troops from both countries will encounter each other more often as China increases its reach and ìthe U.S. presence in the Asia-Pacific is not going anywhere, Locklear said, we have to manage our ability to operate around each other.

The admiral acknowledged China has a sophisticated ballistic missile program, and that it will likely acquire increasingly sophisticated military equipment as its reach continues to grow.

We’re already seeing some examples of that,î he said. ìWe’re seeing Chinese operating today in places beyond the first and second island chain that we wouldn’t have seen before. We’ve seen them be able successfully do [anti-piracy] operations alongside of us in the Gulf of Aden. I think it’s a natural thing as their global, economic power grows for them to have security interests that go beyond their backyard.

The Chinese military is not a threat, but an opportunity, Locklear said in response to a question.

If opportunity is not realized, then, as it would be with any other growing military, it potentially could become a threat,î he said. But I certainly view it and approach it as an opportunity. That’s really the only best path forward.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Matt Hecht

Laser-based aircraft countermeasure provides ‘unlimited rounds’ against MANPADS

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Matt Hecht A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter prepares to depart Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on Jan 7, 2012. The Apache conducts distributed operations, precision strikes against relocat...
 
 

Navy, Air Force advocate for modernizing combat aviation

Top Navy and Air Force officials today told the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces the president’s budget request for fiscal year 2016 will support modernizing combat aviation programs. Cavy Vice Adm. Paul A. Grosklags, principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisitions; Air...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Victor J. Caputo

McConnell community marks B-29 rollout

Air Force photograph by SrA. Victor J. Caputo A B-29 Superfortress aircraft, named Doc after its nose art, sit on the flightline March 23, 2015, in Wichita, Kan. Doc will be one of two Superfortresses in the world capable of fl...
 

 

Future USS John Finn launched

The future USS John Finn (DDG 113) was launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard March 28. During launch the drydock was flooded allowing the 637-foot floating dock to slowly submerge until the ship was afloat. Once the drydock was fully submerged, the ship was pulled by tugs to HII’s south berth...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

First production QF-16 arrives at Tyndall

Courtesy photograph Maintainers begin post-flight checks on the first Lot 1 production model QF-16 after it arrived at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., March 11. The aircraft is the first of 13 deliveries to the 82nd Aerial Target...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Dustin Mullen

E-9A Widget, one of a kind

Air Force photograph by A1C Dustin Mullen An E-9A Widget sits on the flight line in front of hangar 5 Mar. 3 at the 82nd Aerial Target Squadron. The Widget is a modified version of the Bombardier Dash-8, formerly Canadian De Ha...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>