BEIJING - China expects to promote the establishment of a new-type of military relations with the United States through a senior military official's visit to the US from May 15 to 22.
Qian Lihua, director of the Foreign Affairs Office with the National Defense Ministry, made the remarks during an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
The new-type of China-US military relations would feature mutual respect and reciprocal beneficial cooperation, said Qian, adding China hopes to work with the US to ensure the complete success of the Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Chen Bingde's official visit to the US
During his visit, Chen will hold talks with Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. He will also meet with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Tom Donilon.
Chen's trip also includes visits to command centers, troops and institutes of the US armed forces, said Qian, adding the high-profile reception arrangements showed the importance paid by US officials to Chen's trip.
Chen's visit, the first in seven years by a PLA chief of the general staff, is part of the efforts to implement the consensus reached by Chinese President Hu Jintao and his US counterpart, President Barack Obama, and is one of the most important activities of bilateral military diplomacy, he said.
The visit will further deepen mutual understanding, mutual trust and cooperation between the two armed forces and play an important role in promoting a sound and steady development of bilateral military relations, Qian noted.
A healthy, stable and reliable bilateral military relation is of great significance to the building of the China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit, he said.
He noted that the two armed forces share broad common interests in anti-terrorism, anti-piracy escort missions, peace-keeping mission, non-traditional security sectors and the maintenance of the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific Region.
China attaches great importance to developing military ties with the US and has made unremitting efforts in promoting bilateral military exchanges, he said.
So far, China and the US have maintained military exchanges. Gates' visit to China in January mended bilateral military ties after several controversies last year. Also, the defense ministries of China and the United States held their seventh working-level meeting in April.
The just concluded China-US Strategic Security Dialogue in Washington also included representatives from military departments of both countries.
Additionally, delegations of the Air War College of the US Air Force's Air University and US Army Corps of Engineers visited China in March and April, respectively. Further, delegations of high-ranking military officers of the US National Defense University and the University's National War College also visited China in early May.
According to Qian, a PLA's humanitarian relief delegation and a military medical science delegation, as well as a delegation of China's National Defense University, will also visit the US in the upcoming months.
Moreover, the PLA Military Band will visit the US in mid-May. It is the first time for the band to visit the US since the two countries forged diplomatic relations in 1979, said Qian, adding the band will perform five concerts in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.