Halt of China-US military talks shows nation’s resolve

BEIJING: China’s unprecedentedly strong countermeasure of canceling Sino-US military talks has demonstrated the nation’s resolve to safeguard its core interest, which was seriously violated by United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, observers said.
The risks of conflict or even confrontation between the world’s top two militaries are getting high after the cancellations of key communication mechanisms, they said, stressing that the US, which has a hegemonic mentality, should be held fully responsible for the current situation.
Of the eight countermeasures the Foreign Ministry announced on Friday, the first three canceled vital China-US military dialogues, including the Theater Commanders Talk, the Defense Policy Coordination Talks and the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement meetings.
Zhou Bo, a senior fellow at Tsinghua University’s Center for International Security and Strategy and a retired People’s Liberation Army officer, said these measures are “unprecedentedly strong”.
That the first three measures relate to exchanges between the two militaries “shows how determined China is in voicing its determination or indignation against Pelosi’s visit,” he said.
Zhou’s opinion is shared by a PLA international relations researcher, who is familiar with the China-US military communications and asked to remain anonymous.
“Those countermeasures were quite strong and weighty,” the researcher said, stressing that the talks that were canceled made a “major difference in learning from each other’s views and managing risks”.
“The canceled dialogues, especially the DPCT and MMCA, were very important for the two countries to know about their concerns and enhance the mutual trust,” he said, adding that in the past, some actions or opinions of both sides could be adjusted through the key communication mechanisms.
The DPCT was established in 2005, and the MMCA in 1998.
The most recent video meetings under the two mechanisms were held last year. In them, the two sides exchanged views on issues of common concern and discussed the maritime and air security situation and improvement measures, according to the Ministry of National Defense and Chinese embassy in the US. Maintaining communications is important for China and the US, particularly amid the unprecedented tensions between two of the world’s major powers, the researcher said.
“The less information-sharing and communications the two countries have, the more possible and faster it is that they could come into conflict and even confrontation,” he said.
–The Daily Mail-China Daily news exchange item