Dempsey to China next month

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will travel to China next month. Dempsey’s Beijing plans first were reported last week by Chinese media, but Pentagon officials kept quiet about the trip. The chairman confirmed his upcoming travel with a passing mention during his appearance at a luncheon Monday in Washington. Dempsey’s ...

Feng Li/Getty Images
Feng Li/Getty Images
Feng Li/Getty Images

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will travel to China next month.

Dempsey’s Beijing plans first were reported last week by Chinese media, but Pentagon officials kept quiet about the trip. The chairman confirmed his upcoming travel with a passing mention during his appearance at a luncheon Monday in Washington.

Dempsey’s spokesman, Col. David Lapan, said trip details are still being worked out. The visit by Dempsey, President Obama’s senior military advisor, is scheduled to follow trips by Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will travel to China next month.

Dempsey’s Beijing plans first were reported last week by Chinese media, but Pentagon officials kept quiet about the trip. The chairman confirmed his upcoming travel with a passing mention during his appearance at a luncheon Monday in Washington.

Dempsey’s spokesman, Col. David Lapan, said trip details are still being worked out. The visit by Dempsey, President Obama’s senior military advisor, is scheduled to follow trips by Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.

"General Dempsey looks forward to visiting China next month to enhance cooperation on shared security interests and strengthen our relationship," Lapan said. Dempsey spoke with Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army, last week.  "They discussed the upcoming visit, strengthening ties, and regional security issues."

It comes on the heels of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s order to boost anti-ballistic missile defenses on the West Coast of the United States in response to North Korea threats. China criticized the move as adding risk to the situation. A spokesman said Hagel’s move “can only deepen antagonism,” according to the New York Times.

Kevin Baron is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy, covering defense and military issues in Washington. He is also vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. Baron previously was a national security staff writer for National Journal, covering the "business of war." Prior to that, Baron worked in the resident daily Pentagon press corps as a reporter/photographer for Stars and Stripes. For three years with Stripes, Baron covered the building and traveled overseas extensively with the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, covering official visits to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East and Europe, China, Japan and South Korea, in more than a dozen countries. From 2004 to 2009, Baron was the Boston Globe Washington bureau's investigative projects reporter, covering defense, international affairs, lobbying and other issues. Before that, he muckraked at the Center for Public Integrity. Baron has reported on assignment from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific. He was won two Polk Awards, among other honors. He has a B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond and M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University. Originally from Orlando, Fla., Baron has lived in the Washington area since 1998 and currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, three sons, and the family dog, The Edge. Twitter: @FPBaron

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