DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, June 11, 2015 – Defense Secretary Ash Carter met at the Pentagon today with Gen. Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, Defense Department officials reported.
In a statement summarizing the meeting, officials said Carter stressed his commitment to developing a sustained and substantive U.S.-China military-to-military relationship based on a shared desire to deepen practical, concrete cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including humanitarian assistance and disaster response, peacekeeping, military medicine, counter-piracy, and constructive management of differences.
Carter and Fan exchanged views on key issues of mutual concern, officials said, including military-to-military relations, regional security, and maritime issues, including land reclamation in the South China Sea.
“Secretary Carter reiterated U.S. concerns on the South China Sea, and called on China and all claimants to implement a lasting halt on land reclamation, cease further militarization, and pursue a peaceful resolution of territorial disputes in accordance with international law,” the Pentagon statement said.
Carter also reaffirmed his commitment to reach consensus on the air-to-air annex to the Rules of Behavior for the Safety of Air and Maritime Encounters Memorandum of Understanding by September, officials said, explaining that this annex will reduce the risk of miscalculation or accidents when the two countries' aircraft operate in close proximity.
Dialogue Mechanism Framework Document
Carter is pleased that Fan and Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff, will witness the signing the U.S.-China Army-to-Army Dialogue Mechanism framework document tomorrow, the statement said. This framework will open a new channel for leaders in the two armies to raise and discuss issues of mutual concern, such as humanitarian assistance and disaster response practices, they added.
The two sides have agreed to renew efforts to account for missing U.S. military personnel in China, the statement said, noting that a 2008 agreement to search for information relating to U.S. military personnel missing in action before, during and after the Korean War will now be expanded to include personnel from the World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.