CCP PLA officials no-show at meeting with US Navy on maritime security

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Reuters News on Dec 16th, The U.S. military has slammed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for failing to appear at a scheduled virtual meeting related to the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA), a regular meeting with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) since 1998 to conduct on maritime safety. Admiral Phil Davidson, head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said in a statement that it was “another example that China does not honour its agreements”.

Recently, U.S.-CCP ties have rapidly deteriorated and reach the lowest point. The confrontations between them include U.S.‘s action to support Taiwan, slam on CCP’s clampdown on Hong Kong, the accusation of CCP involved in the US election meddling and voter fraud, moreover, the truth of Covid-19 which was a lab-made biological weapon from CCP military has astounded the world. At this special time, what are the deep stories behind CCP unilateral closed the military dialogue with the US?

  1. The U.S. “South China Sea Strategy”

One of the assumptions for CCP to avoid direct dialogue with the U.S. military is the intensive confrontation in the South China Sea Strategy. Compiling a comprehensive understanding of CCP military activities in the South China Sea that included deployments of systems to the Paracels and Spratlys Islands, military exercises and operations, deployment of relevant platforms and weapons in the region, CCP has not significantly increased its operational role in the South China Sea but rather its military expansion signaling.

July 13, Secretary of United State Mike Pompeo announced an important shift in U.S. declaratory policy on the South China Sea. The press statement from Pompeo listed specific Chinese maritime claims the United States considers illegal, “We are making clear: Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them”.

The Trump administration made a statement that the U.S. planned to keep the Indo-Pacific region “free and open” from CCP’s coercion. New diplomacy to strengthen alliances and partnerships throughout the Indo-Pacific region to counter CCP got support from Asia counties. U.S. intensifies its military activities to send deterrent messages to CCP and one of the possible intensive claims is request CCP to remove these illegally military platforms in the South China Sea.

The South China Sea has become a tipping point between the U.S. and CCP which is on the verge of breaking out. CCP is not ready for the aggressive deterrence to trigger a war, therefore, a no-show in the meeting.

2. Taiwan Strait Strategy—CCP’s signal of reunion with military force

A speech delivered in 40 years improving ties activity, Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), has urged Taiwan to accept it “must and will be” reunited with China, and China would not renounce the option of using military force to bring it back.

On Nov. 10, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview that “Taiwan has not been a part of China.” He explained that there was bipartisan support for Taiwan and that the island nation serves as “a model for democracy.” A CCP Foreign Ministry spokesman responded, “any behaviors that undermine China’s core interests and interfere with China’s domestic affairs will be met with a resolute counterattack by China.”

Taiwan is in danger with a war risk. U.S. defense of Taiwan remains the best way to secure U.S. interests. To avoid the warning from the U.S. on the military intervention of Taiwan issue, it might be another consideration for CCP to escape from the military meeting.

3. Assistance in Biden’s election, to create a breathing space for CCP regime sustention

LuDe media revealed that The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and allied forces have been validated that the Covid-19 was the lab-made biological weapon from CCP, which will trigger the collective defense clause in Article 5— the NATO to attack the CCP jointly.

There is no doubt Trump will be the final winner of the US presidential election. In the year 2018, the Trump Administration topped an executive order to prevent foreign counties intervene in American elections (《Executive Order on Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election》). Based on the execution order, sanctions and crackdowns will be imposed on foreign counties that have interfered in the election. The recent U.S. report, which identified three foreign countries supposed to intervene in U.S. election, CCP as the top one, its doom is sealed.

The CCP got into a helpless impasse, who believed Biden to perform the U.S. present will brings a breathing space. Considering a precarious state of tension up to the election, the CCP does not appear to make an escalation military confrontation with the U.S. at this moment. CCP expects the Democratic candidate Joe Biden will be more inclined to revive the cooperation. Therefore, the last assumption is CCP decide to stop the military talk with the U.S. but waiting for a fatal decision after the final episode of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

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China a No-Show at Joint Military Safety Meeting With U.S.

The U.S. and Chinese militaries traded blame after a planned bilateral discussion on aviation and maritime safety fell through, adding fresh tension to a soured relationship between Washington and Beijing.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said the PLA “declined to participate” in a teleconference meeting scheduled to run from Monday to Wednesday under a regular dialogue process that the two militaries established in a 1998 pact.

The Chinese absence is “another example that China does not honor its agreements, and this should serve as a reminder to all nations as they pursue agreements with China going forward,” Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said in the statement.

A spokesman for the PLA Navy, Senior Col. Liu Wensheng, responded Thursday by saying the U.S. bore full responsibility for torpedoing the dialogue with unprofessional and bullying behavior. The U.S. allegations against China, he said, were attempts to confuse public opinion by “inverting black and white.”

“The U.S. side insisted on forcing its unilateral agenda, arbitrarily reducing the length of the annual meetings and changing the nature of the talks,” Col. Liu said in remarks published online by China’s Defense Ministry. “The U.S. side even tried to force China’s participation without an agenda agreed by both sides.”

U.S. and Chinese military officials have routinely met to discuss operational-safety issues in accordance with the 1998 agreement, typically twice a year, according to disclosures from both governments. “This is the first time we can remember the PLA did not show up” for such a meeting, a U.S. defense official said.

The row marked the latest point of contention in a fast-fraying U.S.-China relationship, which has become the most strained it has been in decades as the Trump administration jousted with Beijing over trade, technology and other issues. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to extend the U.S. pressure, with some changes in approach.

President Trump’s efforts to pressure China have included heightened military activities across the South China Sea, where Beijing asserts territorial and maritime claims that overlap with those of some Southeast Asian countries.

The bilateral safety dialogue is intended to reduce the risk of unsafe military encounters at sea or in the air that could spiral into a broader conflict. U.S. aircraft and warships sent to challenge China’s maritime claims have often been intercepted by Chinese counterparts, and Washington has deemed some of these encounters unsafe due to allegedly unprofessional behavior by Chinese forces. Beijing has denied such claims and insisted that its military acted safely and professionally during these encounters.

The PLA no-show “is just baffling,” said Collin Koh, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. The move contradicts China’s position on maintaining dialogue and communication channels—some of which the Trump administration has been closing—that can prevent bilateral tensions from spilling over into the military arena, Mr. Koh said.

“It might be construed, for right or wrong reasons, as Beijing’s attempt to test the incoming Biden administration,” he said.

Under the 1998 pact, often referred to as the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement, officials from the two militaries typically meet in person to discuss rules and procedures for improving safety and review unsafe encounters between U.S. and Chinese forces.

Both sides had agreed to hold this week’s session virtually, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. The command was logged into the teleconference and ready to participate in the scheduled proceedings across all three days, it said.

Col. Liu, the Chinese navy spokesman, said both sides had earlier agreed to hold two online meetings this year. He said Beijing offered suggestions on Nov. 18, with regard to discussion topics and arrangements, but the U.S. sought to unilaterally dictate the proceedings.

Both militaries expressed willingness to resume dialogue.

The Indo-Pacific Command said the U.S. remains committed to the agreement and “will continue to seek a constructive, stable, and results-oriented relationship” with the Chinese military. “Our priorities are to prevent and manage crisis, reduce risk to forces operating in proximity to each other, and cooperate where interests align,” it said.

Col. Liu said China attaches great importance to the military-safety dialogue. “We hope the U.S. side will earnestly respect the contents of the agreement and reach consensus with China on relevant issues as soon as possible and facilitate the smooth conduct of the meetings,” he said.

By Chun Han Wong
WSJ

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