The armed forces of the United States and China held a joint meeting to discuss how they would maintain communications in the event of a crisis, the first of its kind interactions occurring as The two countries continued to issue trade warnings just days before US presidential elections.
The Pentagon announced on Thursday that representatives from the Office of the US Secretary of Defense, the Joint General Staff and the Indo-Pacific Command met almost members of the Office of Military Cooperation. The Chinese Central Military Commission, the Joint General Staff and the South Vietnam People’s Liberation Army Theater Command convened the Crisis Communication Working Group for the first time, a two-day event. Wednesday input.
The goal, the statement said, is to “build mutual understanding”; between the two opponents based on “principles for crisis prevention and management and risk reduction for forces.”
“The two sides agreed on the importance of establishing timely communication mechanisms during a crisis,” the statement said, “as well as the need to maintain regular communication channels to prevent a crisis. and conducting a post-crisis assessment. “
The meeting was also discussed on Thursday by China’s Ministry of Defense, where the spokesman, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Wu Qian, stressed the importance of improving the alleged relationship between the two countries, which he said the North Kinh is ready to work.
“China is willing to continue to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, mutual benefit cooperation and efforts to promote the development of Sino-US relations in a coordinated and coordinated manner. cooperation and stability, “Mr. Wu said reporters in Beijing.
He hopes the Pentagon will follow suit.
“It is hoped that the US and China will meet halfway, reduce hostility, curb provocations, strengthen communication, manage risk and play a constructive role in the stable development of relations. between the two armies, “Mr. Wu added.
And while the announcement of further interactions is scheduled for the remainder of the year, he also issued a sharp warning in response to unspecified US media reports that the General administration President Donald Trump could fly an MQ-9 Reaper drone against China-controlled islands in the South China Sea in an attempt to influence elections in favor of the incumbent.
Mr. Wu said he assured the Pentagon that such a scenario was not in reality, but warned: “If anyone dares to cause conflict at sea, the Chinese side will fight back firmly to ensure protect their sovereignty and national security interests. “
Wu also reiterated China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin’s criticism a day earlier in his comments on US Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s remarks underlining joint efforts with India to counteract. China in a recent bilateral ministerial meeting in New Delhi. Wu calls it part of “Cold War mentality and a zero-sum game concept.”
The US signed the latest defense agreement with India, the only member of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue without a formal alliance with Washington. Other member countries are Australia and Japan; they, along with India, are locked in increasingly worsening tension with China.
The four countries will hold the first naval exercises together as part of the Malabar naval exercises next month.
The Esper has designated China and Russia as the Pentagon’s “main competitors” and has sought to unite states that oppose them in moves that bring Beijing and Moscow closer together.
During his own press conference on Thursday, Wang defended China on the diplomatic front. He criticized US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for allegedly “infiltrating” American society by the Communist Party’s United Front Work Department and appointing China’s National Association of Peaceful Unity. as a foreign affairs mission.
“We advise Pompeo and his followers to stop lying and sabotage Sino-US relations, and not to go any further down the wrong path,” said Mr. Wang.
However, in his own remarks Wednesday, the top US diplomat said the State Department’s moves helped “take us one step closer to our relationship with the PRC based on our transparency and reciprocity. “
US Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite took his rhetoric a step further.
“I think [China] Braithwaite is probably the biggest threat to our country that Americans do not understand, “Braithwaite said at the Naval Memorial on Wednesday, according to Military.com. … I truly believe with all my heart and soul – and I cannot emphasize this any more – what we are seeing emerging is a threat far beyond any comparison. Unequaled in the history of our country. “
The Trump administration has launched a comprehensive campaign to revisit Washington’s relationship with Beijing, which has been accused by the White House of a series of abuses in the areas of trade, human rights and territorial disputes in Europe. ASIAN. Temperatures are particularly high around Taiwan, an autonomous island claimed by mainland China since their de facto division at the end of the 1949 civil war.
Washington moved recognition from Taipei – Taiwan-oriented, officially the ROC – to Beijing, the leader of the People’s Republic of China – decades ago, but the Trump administration expanded. unofficial relations. Among the most controversial aspects of this informal relationship with Taiwan, is the US military support.
The State Department has approved four major arms sales to Taiwan, the latest being the Harpoon Coast Defense System designed to repel the type of aggression that the People’s Liberation Army has continuously trained. .
Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to unify Taiwan with the mainland by force if necessary. The Chinese leader has extended the central government’s authority over Hong Kong, a former British colony that has been partially autonomous since its handover in 1997.
Pompeo on Thursday issued a statement condemning the detention of three Hong Kong activists, arguing that “the Hong Kong government controlled by Beijing continues to stifle dissent, suppress public opinion and use the real agency. Law exam for political purposes. “
The Trump administration has directly challenged Beijing’s regional claims by conducting more and more “free navigation” operations across the Taiwan Strait and the waters of the South China Sea. Here, China has established a growing military presence on islands claimed by other countries.
Pompeo accuses China of “lawlessness and intimidation” in this resource-rich region, calling what he describes as “illegal PLA militarization in the South China Sea” in his post. speaking to reporters in Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
In a conversation with NewsweekFrom January to August, the US conducted eight free-of-navigation operations that “challenge China’s excessive maritime claims” in the region, a Pentagon spokesman revealed.
“All of our operations are designed to be conducted in accordance with international law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever national law is concerned,” the spokesman said. allowable ”, regardless of the location of excessive maritime claims. and regardless of current events. “