A top officer from the United States Navy would attend a naval parade in Shandong this month to witness celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the PLA Navy, a US military newspaper said yesterday. The visit follows a confrontation between a US surveillance ship and five Chinese vessels in the South China Sea last month. Military analysts said that the officer's presence would not directly help the two countries to reach agreement to prevent similar clashes in the short term, but reflected that the People's Liberation Army was trying to increase military transparency. US military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported that Admiral Gary Roughead would be accompanied by Vice-Admiral John Bird, the Seventh Fleet's commander, at the international fleet review in Qingdao on April 23, the date on which the PLA Navy was founded in 1949. It said that the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald would also take part in the naval parade. The Fitzgerald took part in a Sino-US joint search-and-rescue drill in the South China Sea in 2006. On Wednesday last week, when Admiral Roughead's visit was first announced, President Hu Jintao and American President Barack Obama met on the eve of the G20 summit in London and declared a goal of improving relations. The report stressed that China's invitation to Admiral Roughead was not unusual as both countries had exchanged visits by military leaders and naval ships for years. He has visited China before and known his PLA counterpart, Admiral Wu Shengli, for two years. But it also highlighted the negative impact of last month's standoff between the surveillance ship Impeccable and five Chinese vessels off the coast of Hainan. Ni Lexiong, a military expert from the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, said Admiral Roughead's visit would help both sides provide the foundation for future military dialogue. 'The Hainan clash is a normal, military dispute between China and the US, as it has also happened in other, diplomatic sectors,' Professor Ni said. 'Admiral Roughead's visit tells us that both countries are keen on solving those military disputes, but it needs more negotiations from higher-level leaders if both of them want to reach agreements.' With China also inviting other top naval officers from around the world to take part in the international fleet review, Professor Ni said this showed that the PLA was starting to become more transparent. Andrew Yang Nien-dzu, a Taipei-based military expert, said Admiral Roughead's decision to attend the PLA Navy parade would help Beijing and the US to enhance mutual military confidence. 'But I think Beijing and Washington have to pay more attention to enhancing military exchanges, as so far we haven't seen any significant results between the PLA Navy and the US Navy since they signed the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement in 1998.'