BEIJING -- Gen. Mark A. Milley, chief of staff of the U.S. Army, met with his Chinese counterpart Gen. Li Zuocheng on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at the Bayi building in China's capital.

"On behalf of the entire American Army and my delegation, thanks so much for the warm welcome. I look forward to the visit‎. Congratulations again on being selected as commander of the [People's Liberation Army]," said Gen. Milley‎.

During the nearly two-hour meeting, Gen. Milley expressed the U.S. intent to maintain open channels of communications with the PLA to reduce the risk of crisis or miscalculation and candidly address differences. Gen. Milley also reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to adhere to international rules and standards and encouraged the Chinese to do the same as a way of reducing regional tensions.

He told his counterpart that the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance decision to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is a defensive measure to protect South Koreans and Americans from the North Korean ballistic missile threat, not a threat in any way to China.

Gen. Milley also discussed ways to deepen practical cooperation between the U.S. Army and the PLA in areas like humanitarian assistance and disaster response.