For the first a Chinese military delegation is being permitted to observe US naval exercises in the Pacific. A 10-member military delegation is currently in Guan watching the drills.
The group, including three generals from the army, air force and navy of the People's Liberation Army as well as foreign affairs officials will witness the drills dubbed 'Valiant Shield 2006' which are being held between June 19-23.
The exercise involves three US aircraft carrier groups, 30 warships, 280 aircraft and 22,000 personnel, according to a Xinhua report.
The invitation for Chinese officers to view the exercise came from Admiral William J. Fallon, commander of the US Pacific Command, during his visit to China last month.
It's the first time China has sent observers to watch exercises by the American military in US territory. And it's also the first time that China has been invited to view exercises being undertaken solely by US.
The Chinese delegation toured the aircraft carrier the Ronald Reagan on Sunday.
The invitation to observe the US exercises was an important part of military exchanges between China and the US, Xinhua quoted an unnamed official from the Ministry of Defense as saying in its earlier report.
(China Daily June 20, 2006)