PACOM Boss Cites Gains in Recent China Visit

Adm. Samuel Locklear, head of US Pacific Command, said on July 11 he was optimistic about the future of US-China bilateral military relations after spending four days in China in late June and meeting with senior Chinese military leaders. Mil-to-mil ties are slowly coming back after China abruptly severed them in 2010 to protest US arms sales to Taiwan. “Both nations realize that it’s not in the best interests of anyone in the world for the US and China not to have a favorable relationship with each other, and that good military-to-military relations [are] critical to that,” said Locklear in comments during a flight to Australia. His trip was the first official visit to China by a PACOM commander in four years. Locklear said he attempted to explain to his hosts the US military’s shifting focus to the Asia-Pacific under the Obama Administration’s new strategic guidance during an address at the Academy of Military Sciences in Beijing. He said he emphasized that the new strategy was about “trying to provide a security environment with our allies” and emerging and strategic partners in the region, something “that is good for everyone.” (AFPS report by Donna Miles)