Mike Mullen, chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Beijing on Saturday evening for a 4-day visit to China.
Mullen is making the visit at the invitation of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army Chen Bingde, as a return visit for Chen's trip to the United States in May.
Chen will hold talks with the U.S. admiral and host him at a welcoming dinner. A welcoming ceremony is slated for Monday morning ahead of their talks.
"The two sides will exchange views extensively on the further development of China-U.S. military ties, the international and regional security situation and other issues that both are concerned with," Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said earlier at a news briefing.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and other high ranking officials are expected to meet with Mullen, sources said.
"The visit is an important issue for the military-to-military relations between the two countries," Yang said.
Mullen is scheduled to visit China's air force, army and navy as well as the second artillery force in Beijing, Shandong and Zhejiang.
He will also deliver a speech at the Renmin University of China Sunday afternoon.