TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -A top Chinese general attended the opening on Monday of a regional armed forces health forum organized by the Chinese and U.S. militaries, as the two sides set aside friction over trade and territorial issues such as the South China Sea.
This week’s Asia Pacific Military Health Exchange in the western city of Xian, best known as the home of the Terracotta Army, has about 600 participants, with military officials from 28 countries, including U.S. allies like Japan and Australia.
General Song Puxuan, head of China’s Central Military Commission’s Logistics Support Department, posed for pictures with Terry M. Rauch, acting U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense, at the opening ceremony in a Xian hotel.
Song, whose attendance was not announced in advance, did not address the conference. Military sources say he is close to President Xi Jinping and was previously head of the military’s northern command, having risen rapidly up the ranks since Xi took office six years ago.
China has been keen to highlight its cooperation with the U.S. military, despite a bitter trade dispute and Chinese suspicion about U.S. support for self-ruled and Chinese-claimed Taiwan, and U.S. involvement in the disputed South China Sea.