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U.S.-China relations have sunk to a historic low. To prevent miscalculations and outright catastrophe, open communications must be established and maintained between the Pentagon and China’s armed forces, according to Chris Li, director of research for the Indo-Pacific Security Project at Harvard University.

  • Li said there has been essentially no communication between the U.S. and Chinese militaries at senior operations levels since the beginning of the Biden administration, which is “really concerning.”
  • He said a miscalculation, such as an accidental collision over the South China Sea, could lead to rapid escalation because of the lack of communication.
  • Li said he thinks the Chinese military is becoming less reluctant to engage and that he recommends Pentagon leaders allow for flexibility in meeting with counterparts to account for differences in military structure.

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