July 25, 2016, Ministry of National Defense, Beijing, China
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR RICE: Thank you very much General Fan again for such a warm welcome. I’ve appreciated our various meetings as you say over the last three years we have met repeatedly in Beijing and in Washington and it’s always a valuable portion of my visit to Beijing to have the opportunity to meet with you and your colleagues. Our military to military ties have grown and strengthened over the course of the last several years and we value this progress in the United States. And I’m grateful for your personal contribution to that strengthening and I think that our conversations have contributed to the development of our military to military relationship. Right now our forces are operating alongside each other in the Rim of the Pacific exercise just as they have in the past in the Gulf of Aden and elsewhere. Our military leaders communicate more frequently and more directly than ever before in the past. And while our forces operate in closer proximity to each other, the risk of unintended consequences has gone down, thanks to the confidence-building measures that our two sides have put in place. And notwithstanding this progress, as you point out, we have challenges and differences to discuss and to manage. But I am confident as always that we will do so effectively, and I look forward to our discussions and thank you again for your warm welcome.