Chinese, US military chiefs hold crisis communication amid heightened South China Sea tensions

Reuters reports that “the Chinese and U.S. militaries held a video conference meeting about crisis communication” on 28-29 October, according to Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian, “amid amid heightened tensions between the two military superpowers this year in the South China Sea”.

Wu Qian is reported to have said that US Defence Secretary Mark Esper denied a media report about the United States studying a plan to attack Chinese islands and reefs in the South China Sea using an MQ-9 drone in the event that the U.S. presidential election was not looking favourable for President Donald Trump, and that Esper said the United States “has no intention of creating a military crisis with the Chinese”.

The Pentagon did not confirm whether Secretary Esper took part in the talks, but said the talks were an opportunity to create principles to “prevent and manage crisis and reduce risk to forces.”

  • Read the Reuters article here.
  • Read the Pentagon statement here.
  • Read more about the US military exercise “Agile Reaper” that gave rise to some Chinese concerns about US intentions here (Newsweek), here (Japan Times), and here (US Air Force Magazine).
  • Read about recent developments to the US Air Force’s MQ-9 drone here (National Interest).

Image: General Atomics, MQ-9 Drone

Related content