China Says US Must Correct Its 'Cognitive Problems' After Tense Military-To-Military Talks

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 - 08:40 PM

The US and Chinese militaries are attempting to restore positive communications at a moment tensions are continually rising in the South China Sea and particularly around Taiwan - where both sides have upped their presence in the form of warship deployments, including sail-throughs of the contested strait and aerial flyovers near the island - the latter which the PLA military is conducting on at at least a weekly basis.

Beijing is meanwhile still warning Taiwan leaders that they are "playing with fire" given the deepening military ties with the US. All of this makes the US-China military communications 'hotline' urgently important, given the potential for misunderstanding and an inadvertent incident to set off a chain of events leading to major military confrontation in the region.

Concluding two days of military-to-military talks done by video conference Tuesday and Wednesday, Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian charged that Washington has 'cognitive problems' - or serious, abiding flaws in the way it perceives itself in the world, according to Bloomberg. Fundamentally the US "lacks self-awareness and an understanding of the world" - as Chinese media summarized of the official statements. 

Illustrative image via DoD/Young Diplomats

The two sides have now gone through two recent rounds of high-level defense talks, with this week's including Michael Chase, US deputy assistant secretary of defense for China.

At Thursday's daily press briefing Wu further called on the US side to resolve "serious issues" that continue to make progress difficult. This includes that close US ally Britain is ramping up its presence in the Indo-Pacific, which "hurts stability" according to the statements. 

Wu detailed that this week the US and China "exchanged in-depth views on relations between the two countries and the two militaries and issues of common concern."

He ultimately blamed Washington's "continuous provocation and containment" of China for "considerable difficulties and challenges" between the two militaries. "China’s sovereignty, dignity and core interests brook no violations," Wu continued. "Regarding the relationship between the two armed forces, we welcome communication, welcome cooperation, face differences and oppose coercion."

Meanwhile, Beijing officials have continued to condemn the US-UK-Australia defense technology sharing pact as a threat to regional stability...

A US defense department spokesman at the same time also acknowledged "frank" and "in-depth" discussion "on a range of issues." But officials say the United States aims to "responsibly manage competition" between the two superpowers and rivals.

Further the US side said, "Both sides reaffirmed consensus to keep communication channels open. The U.S. side also made clear our commitment to uphold shared principles with our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region."