Entries in Joint Chiefs of Staff (1)


Adm. Mullen to Visit China as US, Japan, Australia Have Military Exercise in S. China Sea

Joint Chiefs of Staff(WASHINGTON) -- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen will depart Friday afternoon for China for his first official visit.   Gen. Peter Pace was the last Joint Chiefs Chairman to visit China in 2004.
During his four day visit, Mullen will meet with his Chinese counterpart General Chen Bingde who visited the U.S. in May.  He’ll also meet with civilian leaders and visit military sites.
At the same time of Mullen's visit, a first-ever small joint naval exercise will take place in the South China Sea by the U.S., Japan and Australia, which will include a U.S. destroyer, a Japanese destroyer and an Australian patrol boat.  
Earlier Friday, the Japanese Defense Ministry issued a statement saying one of its destroyers would be participating in a joint naval exercise with a U.S. destroyer and an Australian patrol vessel.   
A Defense official says the ships will be participating in what’s known as a passing exercise, or a "passex," which will be limited to a drill for ships to train their navigation and communications skills while in communication with each other. The three ships, along with ships from other navies, happened to be in Brunei to participate in a fleet review this week to honor a defense conference taking place in that small country.
The South China Sea has suddenly become a focal point of conflict between China and its neighbors because China has designated the waters as part of a large  economic exclusion area.   Vietnam has recently protested the presence of Chinese ships sent to disturb oil exploration surveys, while the Philippines accuses China of having violated its territorial waters several times.

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