US Military Looking Forward To Collaboration With China

U.S. Navy officials are optimistic about enhanced operational interactions with their Chinese counterparts in light of rising tensions in the area, but more ground must be covered before any concrete plans can be laid. Maintaining open lines of communication between the two forces is crucial to prevent “misunderstandings and miscalculations” that might lead to confrontation, according to U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Lisa Franchetti. China struck a recent agreement to reestablish telephone connections between theater commanders, a topic of great interest to U.S. officials.

After being approved by the United States Senate on November 2, Franchetti is embarking on her first visit to the area. This month, President Joe Biden of the United States and President Xi Jinping of China agreed to restart military talks, which Beijing had ceased after Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s travel to Taiwan in August 2022.

According to China, the two forces could reestablish contact after the discussions held on “the basis of equality and respect.” Officials from both sides dashed high hopes for a significant outcome during the meeting, which took place on the fringes of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

Among the many topics discussed during the four hours of last week’s meeting in San Francisco—tensions about Taiwan and Iran as well as cooperation on the reduction of the flow of fentanyl to the United States—was the need for enhanced military communications.

There has been growing concern that tensions might escalate into a full-scale war in East Asia and the disputed South China Sea as a result of reports of close calls and dangerous encounters between Chinese aircraft and ships. Franchetti, however, maintained her confidence in the United States’ naval superiority.

Even though China’s foreign ministry subsequently criticized the comments, they have not detracted from either side’s positive portrayal of the meeting. The two heads of state have committed to communicating with one another directly.