HONOLULU, Hawaii – Senior representatives from U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Pacific Air Forces, and the U.S. Pacific Fleet met with representatives from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and Air Force led by Rear Adm. Wang Dazhong, Deputy Chief of Staff of PLA Navy, during the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) working group and annual plenary meetings Nov. 15-17 at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center For Security Studies (APCSS).
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.
“The MMCA forum provides an opportunity for those who serve in the operational forces to better understand each other. By continuing to improve our communication via mechanisms like this we can ensure safe interactions at sea and in the air.” said U.S. delegation lead Maj. Gen. Joaquin Malavet, Director for Strategic Planning and Policy, U.S. Pacific Command.
The MMCA meetings serve as mechanisms for open and transparent communication to address concerns and develop common understanding between U.S. and PRC air and naval forces in order to avoid unsafe incidents. The MMCA was signed between the U.S. Department of Defense 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. U.S. Pacific Command is the Executive Agent for the United States.