D.C.-Beijing Shuttle

In addition to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh’s scheduled visit to China in September, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno is expected to visit China by year’s end. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made that announcement during the Aug. 19 press conference with visiting Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wanquan at the Pentagon. Hagel and Chang also announced that the Chinese navy commander would visit the United States later this year. The US Chief of Naval Operations will visit China in 2014, and the Chinese military’s chief of general staff will visit the United States next year, they said. Hagel said he would also visit China next year, having accepted Chang’s invitation. These high-profile visits follow Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Martin Dempsey’s trip to China in April. “We both agreed to continue to strengthen our high-level visits [and] deepen our consultations and dialogues in order to increase our mutual trust,” said Chang at the press briefing of his discussions with Hagel. (Hagel-Chang transcript)