The U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville will visit Qingdao, China, in August as part of a series of such visits between the two countries, the Defense Department said. The announcement of the Aug. 2-5 visit followed a statement by Washington and Beijing that Chinese warships will soon visit Hawaii and Seattle.
Defense Secretary William Cohen visited China this month as the two countries renewed military-to-military ties following a freeze after the 1999 bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade by U.S. warplanes during NATO's air campaign against Serbia. The Pentagon said the visit by the Chancellorsville, based in Yokosuka, Japan, to Qingdao will coincide with a July 31-Aug. 5 visit to Beijing and Qingdao by Adm. Thomas Fargo, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The announcement said the U.S. Navy, in cooperation with China's People's Liberation Army, has developed a series of events and meetings to build mutual understanding in maritime safety, communications and search and rescue. They include high-level exchanges such as Fargo's visit, reciprocal port calls and periodic consultation between Navy counterparts.