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CNO Richardson Heading to China

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and People's Liberations Army Navy head Adm. Wu Shegli.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and People’s Liberations Army Navy head Adm. Wu Shegli.

The U.S. Chief of Naval Operations is headed to Beijing next week to meet his Chinese counterpart, a Navy official told USNI News on Thursday.

Adm. John Richardson will spend three days in China starting on July 17, will meet with his People’s Liberation Army Navy counterpart Adm. Wu Shengli, tour the PLAN’s submarine academy and its lone carrier Liaoning, according to a release from the service.

It will be Richardson’s first trip to China since becoming CNO. His predecessor – retired Adm. Jonathan Greenert – met with Wu several times during his tenure and developed a close working relationship.

“I have been looking forward to this trip and to meeting Admiral Wu for some time,” Richardson in a statement.
“These are important times for our two navies and for maritime forces throughout the region. As we seek to learn from each other, there is no substitute for these types of face-to-face meetings.”

Richardson’s visit will come a week after an international tribunal issued a ruling that invalidated many of Beijing’s claims to extensive holdings in the South China Sea – a ruling Chinese leadership said they would not recognize.

According to the service, South China Sea issues will be a topic of conversation between Richardson and Wu.

While the rhetoric between Washington and Beijing over Chinese actions in the South China Sea have been high, the tenor of the military-to-military interaction between the PLAN and the U.S. Navy is mostly professional, USNI News understands.

Wu and Richadson have held three video teleconferences since Richardson took the CNO position in September.

During the last conversation in January, Wu outlined the Chinese position on installations built on artificial island in the South China Sea.

“Our necessary defensive step of building on islands and reefs in the Nansha (Spratly) Islands is not militarization, but this has been maliciously hyped up by certain countries and media,” Wu said during the teleconference, as reported by newswire Reuters at the time.
“We will certainly not seek the militarization of the islands and reefs, but we won’t not set up defenses. How many defenses completely depends on the level of threat we face.”

The following is the July 14, 2016 statement from the Navy on CNO Richardson’s trip to China.

WASHINGTON (NNS) — Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson is scheduled to visit China, July 17 to 20, to meet with People’s Liberation Army (Navy) (PLA(N)) commander Adm. Wu Shengli.

The goal of the three-day visit to Beijing and Qingdao is to improve mutual understanding and encourage professional interaction between the two navies.

This is Richardson’s first visit to China as CNO and will be the first in-person meeting for the two leaders. Over the last year, the two admirals have held three discussions via video teleconference.

Discussion topics include the South China Sea; the ongoing Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise; and future opportunities for the two navies to operate together.

“I have been looking forward to this trip and to meeting Admiral Wu for some time,” said Richardson. “These are important times for our two navies and for maritime forces throughout the region. As we seek to learn from each other, there is no substitute for these types of face-to-face meetings.”

While in Beijing, Richardson is scheduled to visit PLA(N) headquarters and meet with other senior Chinese defense officials. In Qingdao, home of the Chinese North Sea Fleet, he is scheduled to visit the Chinese Navy’s submarine academy and tour the aircraft carrier Liaoning (CV-16).

 

  • incredulous1

    This nonsense is becoming tiresome and repetitive and accomplishes nothing. Richardson says he expects mutual understanding as China continues its espionage and duplicitous coercive aggression against the US and its allies. Wu says defense is not militarization and freedom of navigation constitutes a threat. And that’s describing the problem on their own terms in their own vernacular, which of course totally ignores the problem and makes no progress.
    I would not be surprised if China were waiting for this visit to make their move on the Scarborough Shoal just to push the limits of US and allied tolerance. The only possible complication is the unfocused and inconsistent tone of Duterte who hopes for appeasement in exchange for some value. Having an understanding between Wu and Richardson is not going to affect this one iota. This almost reminds me of the early days in January 1991 when we were waiting to see if Sadam Hussein would come to his senses

    • JonnyG

      “China continues its espionage and duplicitous coercive aggression against the US and its allies”

      Like you and your m̶i̶n̶i̶o̶n̶ allies haven’t done worse.

      “This almost reminds me of the early days in January 1991 when we were waiting to see if Sadam Hussein would come to his senses”

      I suppose there will be WMD in Duterte’s goodies.

      • incredulous1

        Was this supposed to be tongue in cheek humour, or is this your idea of a response to a serious matter?

  • Sampath

    How to apply for courses and how to join their team

  • Donald Carey

    One look at their photos tells it all – a politically correct American paper pusher meets a real military man…

    • PRONESE

      At sea, Richardson served on USS Parche (SSN 683), USS George C. Marshall (SSBN 654) and USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716). He commanded USS Honolulu (SSN 718) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Yeah, He “Pushed Paper” too I suppose. Still uninspiring though.

      • Donald Carey

        Submarine duty, while having its own challenges, is not the same as surface/air service.