The United States Army Exchange Program with People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China

What is it'

In 2009, the United States Army established a four-part exchange program with the People's Liberation Army of China designed to enhance the relationship between the two armies. The four exchanges include functional, cultural, mid-level officer, and a humanitarian assistance/disaster relief exercise.

This program is governed by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2000. The intent of this exchange program is to support the United States national interest and build mutual understanding between the United States Army and the PLA.

What has been done'

The Army has had engineer and medical exchanges with the PLA in the past. In April 2011, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J. Dorko, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, deputy commanding general for Military, International Operations, and his staff conducted an engineer exchange with the PLA in China. This functional exchange focused on how the two armies can work together on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

What continued effort does the Army have planned for the future'

The cultural exchange consists of a musical exchange focusing on cooperation and friendship through the performing arts. The United States Army Band, Pershing's Own, and the PLA will present four concerts beginning with an Army Chief of Staff hosted event in Washington, D.C., and continuing with events in Philadelphia and New York, N.Y. This historic military band exchange is a good example of engagements that foster positive relations between the two armies through music. The United States Army band has been invited to participate in a reciprocal cultural exchange in China at the end of 2011.

Why is this important to the Army'

Ongoing military exchanges such as these with the PLA promote understanding, cooperation and trust between the United States and other governments. Military-to-military exchanges build trust, improve understanding and communication, and pave the way toward greater cooperation. Both the engineer and band exchange are one of seven types of exchanges that the secretary of defense and his PLA counterpart agreed to pursue.


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