Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, the Pacific Air Forces commander, and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody arrived in Beijing, China, Sept. 24 as part of a weeklong visit to China.
On invitation from the Chinese government, Welsh is the first U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff in 15 years to visit the country.
Welsh met with his Chinese counterpart, People’s Liberation Army air force Commander Gen. Ma Xiaotian and various other Chinese military officials as part of his first full day in the country and will meet with Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Gen. Xu Qiliang Sep. 26.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the trip earlier this fall as one of several visits by U.S. senior military leadership and reciprocal Chinese military leadership visits to the United States during the remainder of this year and in 2014.
Hagel said, “The China-U.S. relationship is important for stability and security in the Asia Pacific and achieving security and prosperity for our two nations in the 21st century. A sustained, substantive military-to-military relationship is an important pillar for this strong bilateral relationship.”