US-China Miscalculation Imminent In South China Sea

US-China Miscalculation Imminent In South China Sea
Vietnam Spratly islands 9 Do Kien Trung / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

There will be more encounters between U.S. and China’s Navy over the disputed South China Sea. Such encounters are vulnerable to miscalculation, especially that there is language barrier between the two nations.


Dangers of language barriers

There is a language barrier between China and the U.S. and this opens the risk of miscalculation with the two nations both patrolling the disputed region, USS Forth Worth Commander Rich Jarrett told Bloomberg. And there will be more of such encounters as the tension over the contested land escalates.

The Fort Worth had a risky encounter with a Chinese vessel in May when it patrolled the region for the first time. Jarrett said that China and U.S. has since agreed to use decodes to avoid such risky encounters.

“Having a common language that we can speak is helpful,” he said, and “it does help avoid any kind of miscalculation, Jarrett told Bloomberg. The code he said is the same code used 20 years ago – back during the Cold War.

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“I expect that we may have a similar encounter because we’re operating in this part of the world. But quite honestly I’m not sure that I’m going to do anything particularly different than what I’ve done in previous deployments,” Jarrett said.

Eyeing China, US Asian allies conduct war games

The Fort Worth is participating in a military exercise with the Philippines that begun last week. On Tuesday, meanwhile, Japan and the Philippines began a separate military drill in undisclosed location.

As part of the exercise, a Japanese P3-C Orion patrol aircraft flew over South China Sea.

“We practiced search and rescue patterns, which are essential in any humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations,” Marine Colonel Jonas Lumawag said according to Reuters.

“This is our first time here and also with this kind of activity with the Philippines,” said Maritime Self Defense Force Commander Hiromi Hamano, head of the Japanese navy contingent.

Also read: Chinese Nuclear Submarines In South China Sea

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