QINGDAO, China: Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead, visited China April 16-22. The purpose of CNO’s visit was to foster the navy-to-navy and overall military-to-military relationships between the two nations and explore possible areas for enhanced cooperation.
Roughead met with his counterpart, Adm. Wu Sheng Li, commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, attended China’s International Fleet Review and toured PLA Navy ships.
CNO said that visits like this are imperative to building global maritime partnerships, an essential piece of the maritime strategy.
“I believe that opportunities like this for our navies to come together to talk about things that navies talk about, to be able to advance our military-to-military relationship and the context of a broader and comprehensive U.S.-China relationship is very important. It’s a pleasure to be here. It’s a pleasure to be back in China,” Roughead said.
CNO said his discussions with Wu included ways that the U.S. Navy and PLA Navy can work cooperatively in the future. He noted that the PLA Navy’s involvement in counter-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden is an example of the increased security cooperation between the two navies.
“I think that our day-to-day operations in the vicinity of Somalia are a tremendous confidence building measure, and I would say they go beyond a confidence building measure. Today our two forces are operating there,” Roughead said. “I’m a great proponent of cooperative endeavors in humanitarian assistance and how we might be able to work together in some combined and even multilateral humanitarian assistance operations such as the ones that my Navy leads.”
USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) participated in the International Fleet Review along with more than 40 naval vessels. U.S. 7th Fleet Commander, Vice Adm. John Bird also attended the review marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of China’s PLA Navy.