Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has arrived in China along with Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody.
Welsh’s visit marks the first time in 15 years that a chief of staff has visited China, according to an Air Force news release. He arrived in the country on Tuesday.
On his first full day of his visit, Welsh met his Chinese counterpart: Gen. Ma Xiaotian, commander of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, the news release says. He is expected to meet with Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Gen. Xu Qiliang on Thursday.
The visit comes little more than a month after Defense Secretary Hagel met with General Chang Wanquan, China’s minister of national defense.
“We both believe that the Chinese and the U.S. militaries are carrying an increasingly important responsibility in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region,” Chang said at an Aug. 19 news conference at the Pentagon.” Both sides agreed to play a constructive role in regional affairs, promoting the positive interaction between the two militaries in this region.”
“At present, the China-U.S. relationship is in a new historical era. Building a new model of China-U.S. military relationship can help us to increase strategic trust to reduce strategic risks and to maintain world peace and regional stability. China is ready to work with the U.S. to seriously implemented our presidents’ important consensus, to — to raise our military-to-military relationship to a new height by strengthening our dialogue, communication, and practical cooperation, and by properly handle our disputes and differences.”