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China doesn’t talk to America, ‘rejects, doesn’t answer’ US calls

Flags of India and China. AFP.

China and the United States again seem to be at loggerheads. The Chinese spy balloon controversy continues to simmer, with America now accusing Beijing of rejecting or failing to respond to its demands.

Deputy Secretary for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs at the Department of Defense (DOD), Ely Ratner, said the United States was keen to maintain open lines of communication with China to avoid misperceptions at the times during peace and crisis.

According to a report by Hindustan timeduring an interaction at a think tank event in Washington, Ratner revealed that the US strategy for the Indo-Pacific was one of discouragement aimed at making the costs of the conflict in the Taiwan Strait too high for the China, while ensuring activities aimed at deterrence did not increase to an escalation and were within the scope, needs and preferences of US allies and partners.

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According to Ratner, this strategy across the Taiwan Strait was neither certain nor imminent because the costs for Beijing were too high at the moment. “And our job is to keep it that way,” Ratner said.

The United States has consistently expressed its desire to have open lines of communication with China. In November last year, President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, at a meeting in Bali, agreed to do so. A visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Beijing has also been announced.

Blinken was supposed to leave for China in February, but days before his visit, the United States discovered the alleged spy balloon over the town of Billings, Montana. The incident caused public outrage and the cancellation of the tour.

However, recently US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met Wang Yi, a senior Chinese Communist Party foreign policy official, in Vienna, raising hopes for a possible renewal of sustained high-level engagement between the states. USA and China.

According to Ratner, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had stressed the importance of these lines of communication, “but unfortunately we had a lot of difficulty when we offered phone calls, meetings, dialogues.”

Ratner further said that US requests have been repeatedly denied or unanswered, including at the level of Secretary Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Milley, Commander Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) and Admiral John C Aquilino, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense. for China Michael Chase, or other civilian or uniformed engagements.

“The United States and the DOD have had an outstretched hand on this issue of military-to-military engagement, but we don’t have ever-willing partners yet,” Ratner said.

Ratner further stated that lines of communication were crucial both in peacetime and during a crisis “to avoid misperceptions and miscalculations and to prevent crises from spiraling out of control”. The purpose of these mechanisms was to discuss how the two sides think about “emerging areas” and how they design their strategy in areas “that may have high escalation potential”.

With contributions from agencies

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