US-China conflict: Communication issues & unpredictable ‘triggers’ threaten to boil over

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The relationship between China and the US is rocky, with US President Joe Biden expressing concern over several issues. Allegations have been levied against China of human rights abuses in Xinjiang against people from the Muslim Uighur minority group. China has also been accused of suppressing freedoms in Hong Kong after months of pro-democracy protests.

In recent weeks, China has also faced significant criticism for its actions in the South China Sea.

The South China Sea has significant global importance, with much of the world’s shipping passing through the region.

But on September 1, China introduced its Maritime Traffic Safety Law.

The law means all foreign vessels entering Chinese waters will have to inform maritime authorities of their entry and carry permits.

The law has faced significant criticism, as China has overlapped its claims on territory belonging to Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.

The US has backed the claims of these nations, arguing China is extending its influence beyond its own territories.

Recently Taiwan’s defence ministry said China’s armed forces can “paralyse” Taiwan’s defences, amid China’s growing military activity around the island.

Political tension has been simmering between the US and China for some time.

But US military personnel have warned that inadequate communication between the US and China could escalate the conflict between the two nations.

For a long time, the US has sought to increase communication with the Chinese authorities to help deal with flare-ups or issues.

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Retired Admiral Scott Swift, former commander of the US Pacific Fleet, told Politico: “There should be a sense of urgency about this.”

He added that unpredictable “triggers” may fuel a US-China military conflict which could pose a threat to the current crisis communication channels.

A briefing was held on Friday between a senior Pentagon official and the Chinese military on Friday, according to Reuters.

The meeting was the first such to be scheduled during the new Biden administration.

According to a US official source, the meeting focused on managing risk between the US and China.

On the condition of anonymity, a US official told Reuters: “(They) utilized the U.S.-PRC Defense Telephone Link to conduct a secure video conference.

“Both sides agreed on the importance of maintaining open channels of communication between the two militaries.”

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