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Increased Military Transparency Lifts Veil on U.S.-China Tensions

Richard Weitz

Last week’s visit of Gen. Fang Fenghui, China’s highest-ranking military officer, to the United States both testified to the improvement in bilateral military relations and highlighted the continuing differences between these two military powers.

Fang, the chief of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff, initially spent two days in San Diego, where he met the head of the U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, and toured the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, a littoral combat ship and the regional Marine Corps Recruit Depot. He then traveled to Washington to meet with his U.S. counterpart and official host, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, who had conducted a visit to China last year. Fang also conferred with Vice President Joseph Biden and the new deputy defense secretary, Robert Work. (U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was in the Persian Gulf.) Fang then toured U.S. Army Forces Command in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, and held meetings in New York. …

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