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PEARL HARBOR - Adm. Scott Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, met with the commander of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, Adm. Wu Shengli, Nov. 19, at Wu's headquarters in Beijing.
Swift reiterated the intentions expressed by President Obama, Secretary of Defense Carter and Commander, U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Harry Harris that the U.S. Pacific Fleet will continue to fly and sail wherever international law allows. The U.S. Pacific Fleet has been a key guarantor of the stability, security and prosperity enjoyed by all Pacific nations during the past 70 years, and is committed to continuing that heritage into the future.
Swift also expressed to Wu the importance of transparency, parity and reciprocity in the effort to build the relationship between the Pacific Fleet and its counterparts in the PLAN. Acknowledging there are policy differences between many Pacific nations in the maritime arena, Swift emphasized the importance of pursuing inclusive, multilateral solutions. A key element of such an approach is ensuring that regional naval forces, including coast guards and maritime militia, continue to behave professionally and in accordance with international norms, standards, rules and laws.
Swift lauded the warm hospitality extended by his hosts throughout his first-ever visit to mainland China. Swift and Wu also discussed the PLAN's participation in the upcoming Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multilateral exercise in 2016. China, participating for the second time in the exercise series, will be one of more than 20 nations in RIMPAC, the world's largest international maritime exercise, which has been hosted by the U.S. Pacific Fleet since 1971.