China, US hold military talks for crisis communication; ‘October Surprise’ a rumor: Chinese MOD

▲Photo: VCG

US defense chief has debunked the reports on the US planning drone attacks on islands in the South China Sea via military diplomatic channels and said the US has no intention to create military crisis with China, a spokesperson with the Chinese Defense Ministry said on Thursday, adding that the two militaries were currently holding a virtual meeting for crisis communication, and more exchanges and consultations on issues including maritime military security will be held by the year end.   

In response to recent US media reports that said the US is studying a plan to use MQ-9 drones to attack islands and reefs in the South China Sea to create a so-called “October Surprise” to help President Donald Trump with reelection, Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper specifically clarified this issue through military and diplomatic channels, stating that the relevant reports do not match the facts and that the US has no intention of creating a military crisis against China. 

Esper said the US is willing to establish a stable, constructive, and results-oriented relationship between the two militaries and establish necessary mechanisms to reduce risks, strengthen communication, and cooperate in areas of common interests, Wu said. 

“We believe that under the current situation, it is very important to maintain communication between the Chinese and US militaries. We demand that the US matches its words to its deeds, keep its promise, stop military provocations in waters and airspace around China and stop actions that harm China’s core interests,” Wu said. 

If anyone dares to provoke a conflict at sea, China will resolutely fight back and firmly safeguard its national sovereignty and security interests, he said, urging the US to meet China halfway and bring China-US relations back to the right track.

According Wu, senior officers from the Office for International Military Cooperation of the Central Military Commission and US Department of Defense spoke by phone on October 20. 

The two militaries were holding a virtual meeting for crisis communication on Wednesday and Thursday. The two sides agreed to conduct a 2020 military personnel humanitarian relief and disaster reduction seminar and exchanges by video conference in mid-November, Wu said. 

In addition, before the end of the year, the two militaries will also hold a video conference on maritime military security consultations, according to Wu.  

“China is willing to continue to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation, and strive to promote the development of China-US relations on the track of coordination, cooperation and stability. It is hoped that the US and China will meet halfway, reduce hostility, refrain from provocations, strengthen communication, manage risks, and play a constructive role in the stable development of relations between the two militaries,” the spokesperson said. 

Global Times 

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