Welsh Returns from China

Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh and CMSAF James Cody returned to Washington, D.C., from their historic weeklong visit to China. Welsh, Cody, and Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Hawk Carlisle met with Chinese military officials in Beijing, Hangzhou, and Hong Kong during their visit, which ran Sept. 24 to Oct. 1. Welsh’s party met with Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Gen. Xu Qiliang, People’s Liberation Army Air Force Commander Gen. Ma Xiaotian, and other civilian and military officials, according to an Oct. 2 release. Discussions with Xu and Ma about military-to-military relations touched on advancing cooperation in several areas, notably senior-level exchanges, military medicine and education, search and rescue, air-to-air safety, and disaster-relief operations. In August, Welsh talked with the Daily Report about his upcoming China trip, saying he hoped to build “connective tissue” with the Chinese air force via mil-to-mil exchanges. Upon returning from his trip, Welsh said: “Airmen understand airmen and the value of airpower. Our relationship with the PLAAF is important for many reasons and we look forward to working to strengthen it together.”