Adm. Wu Shengli, commander in chief of the People’s Liberation Army – Navy [PLA(N)], visited the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) accompanied by U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert on Sept. 9, 2013.
In his first visit to the United States since 2007, Shengli, escorted by Greenert, was rendered side honors by Carl Vinson Sailors before a tour of the warship led by its Commanding Officer Capt. Kent D. Whalen.
“It is a rare privilege to welcome aboard such distinguished guests,” Whalen said. “To have not only our own chief of naval operations, but to have Adm. Wu from the People’s Republic of China as well is truly an honor. I’m pleased and excited some of our terrific Sailors had the opportunity to engage with them both.”
The delegation toured the waist launch control room, combat direction center (CDC), arresting gear operations room, crew’s mess and medical wards, where junior and senior enlisted Sailors demonstrated their work center’s professionalism, high-quality standards and the critical functions they perform every day.
“It filled me with a great sense of pride to see our Sailors intelligently and passionately present their work centers and explain their work to both CNOs,” said Carl Vinson’s Command Master Chief (CMDCM) Jeffrey Pickering. “It really spoke to Carl Vinson’s high standard of excellence.”
Wu and Greenert also met with chief petty officers to discuss the important role senior enlisted perform in the U.S. Navy. Following a question-and-answer session on the differences and similarities between the two navies, Capt. Whalen hosted a lunch in the wardroom in honor of Wu.
The diplomatic visit was one of many to U.S. Navy and Marine Corps commands in the San Diego area and supports the goals of both military leaders to establish clear paths of communication, encourage transparency and trust, mitigate risks, and focus multilateral cooperative efforts to address common regional and global security challenges.
The visit is also especially important as PLA(N) accepted an invitation to participate in the Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC) 2014 earlier this year. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC is held every two years and will include more than 20 nations in 2014.
Press Release, September 10, 2013; Image: US Navy