Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New U.S.-China Military Rules Fall Short On Disputes Like The South China Sea

A Chinese fighter in international waters buzzed a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft within 20 feet and did a barrel roll over it in an incident that prompted a diplomatic complaint, U.S. officials said today. Source: Pentagon via Bloomberg

Wall Street Journal: New U.S.-China Military Rules Vague on Dealing with Conflicts

Unclear how agreement would apply to disputed islands in South China Sea.

WASHINGTON—The U.S. and China completed an agreement Friday on military air and naval encounters, but defense officials acknowledged it amounts mainly to “confidence building measures,” leaving unclear how it would apply to disputed islands in the South China Sea.

Last year, the U.S. and Chinese governments established an agreement establishing what a Pentagon official termed “rules of behavior” for encounters between U.S. and Chinese warships and aircraft to prevent mishaps and misunderstandings.

The portion of that agreement governing naval vessels was completed last year, but a corresponding section on air encounters wasn’t finalized until Friday. Officials said the delay in the air portion of the agreement was because there are fewer international precedents for such accords.

WNU Editor: And it is on these issues where the rules of engagement and behaviour that need to be clarified. Unfortunately .... I do not see any progress on this issue with the current White House .... this is something that is going to be tackled by the next administration.

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