China – Perspective on the Way Forward with Admiral Joseph Prueher

Former Ambassador to China

Admiral Joseph served Presidents William J. Clinton and George W. Bush as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China from 1999 to 2001. As Chief of the United States mission in China, he was responsible for directing, coordinating and managing the activities of all United States Executive Branch activities in China. During his tenure, he commenced post Tiannaman Square communications between Peoples Liberation Army of China and U. S. Military and he was central in the diplomacy resolving the negotiated release of downed U.S. Navy EP-3 crew on Hainan Island in 2001.  The governments of Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia have formally honored him with induction into their highest military Orders.

He is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations, and served as Vice Chairman of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Prueher was a  James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at the Miller Center of the University of Virginia, as well as Senior Advisor to the Stanford-Harvard Preventive Defense Project, working on dialogue for US-China security matters.

Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Admiral Prueher graduated with distinction in 1964 from the U.S. Naval Academy, later receiving a M.S. in International Relations from George Washington University.  Admiral Prueher is also a graduate of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, as well as The University of Nashville.

He completed thirty-five years in the United States Navy in 1999.  A carrier-based attack pilot for his first 24 years of service, he also spent three years as a Navy Test Pilot at Patuxent River, MD.  He has extensive flight and combat experience, with over 5600 flight hours and over 1000 carrier landings.  He was qualified in 52 types of aircraft, held numerous senior operational commands, including two carrier air wings, and led the formation of the Naval Strike Warfare Center in Fallon, NV.  In addition to co-authoring the Performance Testing Manual used by naval test pilots for many years, he has published numerous articles on leadership, military readiness, and Pacific region security issues.

Admiral Prueher served as Commandant at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis; Commander of Carrier Battle Group ONE based in San Diego; Commander of the U.S. Mediterranean Sixth Fleet and of NATO Striking Forces based in Italy; and as Vice Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon.  His last command was Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command (CINCPAC); the largest military command in the world, CINCPAC spanned over half the earth’s surface and included over 300,000 people.

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