March 25th, 2007 05:43 EST
Top U.S. Officer Gives Young Chinese Troops Career Advice
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had some career advice here today for junior members of the Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army.
A PLA television crew asked Marine Gen. Peter Pace how people build successful careers in the military. Pace had just finished observing a PLA military exercise.
Standing in front of a Chinese T-99 main battle tank, Pace said it was important to understand the job that servicemembers have, “and do your job to the best of your ability.”
Pace said servicemembers must know what those two levels below them are supposed to be doing, and to understand the intent of those two levels above them. “So that as you do your job to the best of your ability, you can take care of those who look to you for leadership and respond properly to those who look to you to follow,” he said.
Troops should not think any job is beneath them or that any job deserves less than their best efforts. “We have an expression that says, ‘Grow where you are planted,’” Pace said. “So what ever job you are given, do your best, and you will get another good job.”
Pace also spoke about the military exercise he had just seen and an earlier visit to Anshan air base. He said the visit hasn’t changed his attitude toward the Chinese military, “because I came here with great respect for the Peoples’ Liberation Army, Navy and Air Force,” he said.
The chairman said his visit reinforced his belief that the Chinese military is “world-class.” It also reinforces the idea that there is much that the armed forces of the United States and China can do together to promote world peace, he said.
The PLA reporter asked the general if he considered China a threat to the United States.
“I believe a threat has two parts to it: One part is capability and the other part is intent,” Pace replied. “Both the armed forces of the United States and China have great capabilities or capacities. But neither country has the intent to attack the other country. Because of that we are not a threat to each other.”
He said exchanges between the Chinese and American militaries are key to bringing the two countries closer together.
“What we do need to do is have more opportunities to work together, to understand each other better, so we can build trust and confidence that will allow our two countries to go forward together,” Pace said.
Pace listed some of the many new proposals to encourage these military-to-military contacts. He said his Chinese counterpart Gen. Liang Guanglie had suggested some of these proposals during Pace’s first meeting with Chinese leaders in Beijing March 22.
“I agreed with the proposals immediately,” Pace said. “There were such things as having our cadets at our academies trade experiences with each other. (Another would) have our junior officers trade places at some of our educational institutions.”
Still another is to boost maritime search and rescue exercises and to find ways to cooperate on humanitarian missions.
“We need to just to seek ways to allow our armed forces to get to know each other better, to understand each other better,” he said. “That will allow us, then, to build trust and confidence then that will allow us to work more closely together in the future.”
He said there are 300 million Americans and 1.3 billion Chinese. Those men and women who serve in the respective militaries “can help both countries provide a better future for all 1.6 billion of those people,” Pace said.
Pace moved to Nanjing, China where he will speak to the members of the PLA University of Science and Technology.
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service