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NEWS | April 5, 2024

U.S. lndo-Pacific Command representatives meet with Chinese counterparts at Military Maritime Consultative Agreement working group

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command

Military representatives from U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and U.S. Pacific Air Forces met with People's Republic of China People's Liberation Army representatives for the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement working group in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 3-4, 2024.

This year's MMCA working group discussions were the first following U.S. President Joe Biden's bilateral meeting with PRC President Xi Jinping Nov. 15, 2023, where both leaders agreed to resume direct military-to-military talks. The last MMCA working group event was held virtually December 14-16, 2021.

"The Military Maritime Consultative Agreement working group is USINDOPACOM's primary means to directly discuss air and maritime operational safety with the PLA," said U.S. head of delegation Army Col. Ian Francis, director, Northeast Asia Policy, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. "The United States will continue to operate safely and professionally in the Indo­-Pacific wherever international law allows, and we take this responsibility seriously. Open, direct, and clear communications with the PLA—and with all other military forces in the region—is of utmost importance to avoid accidents and miscommunication.”

During the 2024 MMCA working group meetings, both U.S. and PRC officials reviewed safety-related events over the last few years, and discussed sustaining maritime and aviation operational safety and professionalism, the common understanding on safe operational interactions between U.S. and PRC air and naval forces, and continued implementation and assessment of the Rules of Behavior for Safety of Air and Maritime Encounters Memorandum of Understanding.

"We are encouraged that the PLA is honoring its commitments to the MMCA working group and look forward to future productive discussions to safeguard the safety of our military operators in the region," said Francis.

 

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