US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Mullen said yesterday
that he has been given unprecedented access to China's navy,
including naval exercises, and that his ongoing visit to the
country is productive.
Addressing a press briefing, Admiral Mullen said: "I'm very
encouraged about the commitment made by Chinese defense and foreign
policy officials to continue improving the relationship, (and
though) there is a long way to go, I'm reassured."
During his weeklong trip that began on August 17, Mullen visited
Beijing and the naval facilities at Lushun, Qingdao and Ningbo, and
addressed students of the Dalian Naval Academy.
"To get on a destroyer and see an exercise that included air,
submarine and surface exercises was a first for a US Naval
officer," he said, hinting that he would continue to improve ties
if he took over as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
His trip follows Chinese navy chief Vice-Admiral Wu Shengli's
visit to the US in April.
Mullen appreciated the chance his visit offered to carry forward
his discussions with Wu and other senior Chinese military and
They discussed issues of mutual concern, including increased
contacts between the two navies at all levels.
He said growing interaction between the two militaries will help
avoid misunderstandings and miscalculations. It's really important
that we reach a better mutual understanding.
(China Daily August 22, 2007)