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US Commander Hails 'Open Approach' of Chinese Navy
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Visiting US Pacific Fleet Commander Gary Roughead said yesterday that the Chinese navy was adopting a more open approach.


"The visit of the USS Juneau is indicative of improved military relations and transparency between the People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy and the US navy," Roughead said.


The USS Juneau, the US navy's only forward-deployed amphibious transport, is paying a five-day visit to Zhanjiang, a port city in Guangdong Province.


It will also take part in the second phase of the joint search-and-rescue exercise between the two navies, scheduled for Sunday.


The first phase in September consisted of communications and passing exercises held in the waters off Hawaii.


"I believe the exercise will be a good opportunity for us to increase transparency," said Roughead, who will oversee the upcoming exercises. "It is important because two professional and capable navies work together and contribute to peace, security and stability in the region."


On Thursday morning, the admiral watched a military skills demonstration by the Chinese Marine Corps. The 30-minute demonstration included boxing skills, light machine gun shooting, speed rifle shooting, basic combat training and squad tactics.


"It is clear to me that you are very fit and you execute your duties with great precision," Roughead told about 300 Chinese marines after the demonstration. "When I see your pride, fitness, precision and your drive for excellence, I realize that you have much in common with the US marines." 


During his week-long China tour, Roughead also met with senior Chinese government officials and military officers in Beijing.


"I have seen in my visit that our two navies and marines have much to share," the admiral said. "I believe that gives us opportunities to continue to engage with each other to increase cooperation, and to look for opportunities where we can do things in common and increase the understanding between our countries," Roughead said.


This is Roughead's first visit to China since he became US Pacific Fleet Commander in July 2005.


(Xinhua News Agency November 17, 2006)

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