US Pacific Command visits China for maritime plenary

Senior representatives from U.S. Pacific Command traveled to China to participate in the annual military maritime consultative agreement working group and plenary which took place between November 7-10.

According to the Pacific Command, the meeting served as a mechanism for open and transparent communication to address concerns and develop common understanding between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China air and naval forces in order to avoid unsafe incidents.

The MMCA was signed between the U.S. DoD and the PRC Ministry of National Defense in January 1998 to promote common understanding regarding activities undertaken by both nations’ maritime and air forces when operating in accordance with international laws and norms.

During the MMCA meetings both U.S. and Chinese officials discussed how to improve maritime and aviation safety and professionalism; reviewed unsafe incidents over the last year; and discussed implementation and assessment of the rules of behavior for safety of air and maritime encounters memorandum of understanding.

Officials also discussed the safety aspects of the China’s participation in RIMPAC-2016 and visited the North Sea Fleet and PLA Submarine Academy.

“The preponderance of encounters between our militaries at sea and in the air are safe, but it’s important to have continuous dialogue through MMCA to identify and discuss safety issues when they arise. We can then take those lessons learned back home to ensure continued safe interactions between our operators.” said U.S. delegation lead Maj. Gen. Steven Rudder, Director for Strategic Planning and Policy, U.S. Pacific Command.