The event was part of the U.S.-China Sanya Initiative, hosted by China Association for International Friendly Contact (CAIFC) and facilitated by the EastWest Institute, bringing together retired U.S. and Chinese retired military officers. This was the first delegation from the United States to meet with CMC leaders since their selection in November.
EWI President John Mroz, Vice President David Firestein and Senior Associate Piin-Fen Kok were part of the U.S. delegation. CAIFC senior representatives were also in attendance.
The retired U.S. generals who participated in the meetings included:
- General Peter Pace, Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Admiral William Owens, Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and member of EWI’s Board of Directors
- General T. Michael Moseley, Former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force and member of EWI’s Board of Directors
- General Kevin Chilton, Former Commander of U.S. Strategic Command
The retired Chinese generals who participated were:
- General Li Qianyuan, former Commander of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Lanzhou Military Region
- Admiral Hu Yanlin, former Political Commissar of PLA Navy
- General Zheng Shenxia, former President of the Academy of Military Sciences
- Lieutenant General Wang Liangwang, former Deputy Commander of PLA Air Force
- Lieutenant General Zhao Xijun, former Deputy Commander of the PLA Second Artillery Force
General Xu met with the delegates at the Bayi Building for 75 minutes. Following that, General Zhang met with the group and hosted them to dinner at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. During both meetings, the Chinese and U.S. sides reaffirmed the importance of strengthening U.S.-China military-to-military relations, and of building strategic trust between the two countries and their militaries.
Before arriving in Beijing, the retired U.S. and Chinese generals, EWI and CAIFC visited Xiamen, where they held two days of plenary discussions on a range of issues affecting the U.S.-China military-to-military relationship, including: Assessments of China’s new CMC and U.S. defense policy under a second Obama administration; the South and East China Seas; Taiwan; cybersecurity; and prospects for a regional mechanism focused on addressing the myriad security challenges in Northeast Asia. The delegates also met with Xiamen Mayor Liu Keqing.