A U.S. delegation comprised of 27 naval captains visited the aircraft carrier Liaoning on Monday afternoon to share their experiences in training, healthcare at sea and aircraft carrier development strategies, China Central Television reported Tuesday.
China's move to introduce its first and only aircraft carrier was an open and transparent gesture that demonstrated the country's confidence and sincerity, Zhang Junshe, a research fellow at the China Naval Research Institute, told the Global Times.
Zhang also added that the visit could help strengthen understanding and mutual trust between the two countries and could serve as an important step toward building a new type of major power relations, a goal President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama have agreed their countries should pursue.
A Chinese delegation of 29 naval captains visited the U.S. in February to discuss topics such as anti-terrorism strategies and maritime search and rescue.
This year's visits mark the first time that both countries have sent so many captains and senior officials from the top level of the navy, said Zhang, who added that more exchanges such as military drills and communication between military universities and senior navy officials are also needed.
The two sides discussed the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea during both this visit and the Chinese naval delegation's visit to the U.S. in February, which is a positive move that will help prevent misunderstandings and misjudgments in the South China Sea issue, Zhang explained.
Understanding and trust cannot be built in one day or by a single move, said Li Jie, a Beijing-based military expert, advising that China and the U.S. should establish regular exchanges regarding military equipment, technology and strategies to shape a comprehensive and multi-dimensional image of each other.