Amid the growing tensions, US and China completed two-day virtual conference to inaugurate the first Crisis Communications Working Group between the two nations on Thursday (local time).
“On October 28 and 29, 2020, US and Chinese defense officials convened the first Crisis Communications Working Group by video teleconference to discuss concepts of crisis communications, crisis prevention, and crisis management,” the US Defense Department said in a press release on Thursday.
The meeting provided an opportunity to build mutual understanding between the US military and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on principles to prevent and manage crisis and reduce risk to forces, the release said.
The two sides agreed on the importance of establishing mechanisms for timely communication during a crisis, as well as the need to maintain regular communication channels to prevent crisis and conduct post-crisis assessment, the release added.
The US delegation included representatives from the Defense secretary’s office, the Joint Staff, and US Indo-Pacific Command. The Chinese delegation included representatives of the Central Military Commission’s (CMC) Office for International Military Cooperation, the CMC Joint Staff and the PLA Southern Theater Command, according to the release.
This crisis working group meeting comes as both nations are at loggerheads over several issues pertaining to COVID-19, Hong Kong security law, trade, Chinese camps in Xinjiang and Beijing’s growing aggression against its neighbours.