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Samuel Locklear: PACOM Opens Dialogue With China to Prevent Unsafe Naval Encounters

Adm.-Samuel-Locklear-IIIAdm. Samuel Locklear, the U.S. Pacific Command’s chief, said U.S. and Chinese military personnel engaged in open dialogue following close encounters between the two nations’ aerial and naval vehicles, DoD News reported Thursday.

Nick Simeone writes the latest midair incident occurred on Aug. 19, when a Chinese fighter approached within 30 feet of a U.S. maritime surveillance aircraft at one point during a U.S. routine mission near the Hainan Island.

“These are very serious things,” Locklear told reporters during a news conference held Thursday at the Pentagon.

“We have a pretty direct dialogue about what we saw was unsafe and how they interpreted it as being unsafe and since the last one occurred, we haven’t had any more,” he added, according to DoD News.

The publication reports that a Chinese warship and a U.S. destroyer nearly collided in the South China Sea in December.

Locklear explained the majority of U.S.-Chinese naval or aerial interactions are professional and safe, according to Simeone’s article.

He believes the two nations can address misunderstandings through open dialogue.

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