The visit to the United States by Chinese Minister of National Defense Chang Wanquan will help sustain the "positive momentum" that has been achieved in the US-China military-to-military ties, the Pentagon said Friday.
Chang is expected to hold talks with his US counterpart Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Monday, when the two "will have an opportunity to discuss a variety of issues," including the US-China relationship and the military-to-military relationship, Pentagon spokesman Steve Warren told reporters.
Chang is meeting Friday with Samuel Locklear, commander of the US Pacific Command, in Hawaii at the first stop of his US visit. He is scheduled to meet with Charles Jacoby, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and US Northern Command, both headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Warren said.
The spokesman noted that Chang's visit illustrates and will help sustain the positive momentum that has been achieved in the US-China military-to-military relationship over the past 18 months.
The visit "sustains the regular set of interactions between the two leaders that reflects the positive nature of the US-China military-to-military relationship," Warren said.
This momentum began when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the US in February last year, then in the capacity of vice president, which including a meeting with then US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon.
Last May, Panetta hosted Chang's predecessor Liang Guanglie at the Pentagon to continue the momentum of boosting bilateral military cooperation. In April, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey paid a visit to China.
In his meeting with Dempsey, Chinese President Xi has said the military ties constitute an important part of the cooperative partnership between China and the United States.
Xi said China is willing to make joint efforts with the US side to deepen trust in each other and expand exchanges and cooperation to establish a new type of military relationship between the two countries.
During their summit in June in California, Xi and his US counterpart Barack Obama also agreed to find a new way to manage their differences and actively foster a new type of military relations commensurate with the new type of major-country relationship that features mutual respect and win-win cooperation.