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2016.05.02

Watch Your Six: China in a Global Perspective, No. 1

  • Jun Kurihara
  • Research Director
    Jun Kurihara
  • [Expertise]
    U.S. Information and Network

Dark clouds are hanging over the East and South China Seas. Control of the air zones over the Seas is in dispute. Countries concerned, both those with direct territorial interest and those more widely interested, such as the United States and Australia, are concerned about the observance of international law in this area.


Unfortunately, there has been little progress in finding political agreements to settle these territorial disputes. In the ensuing tension, the value of effective communication between those who are actually engaged in search, rescue, and military operations in this area is of ever greater importance. Such two-way communication can be extremely effective in preventing unintentional incidents and limit the political for politico-military escalation. Establishing appropriate crisis management mechanisms is only one step amongst many. Even with long established exchange programs and accident prevention mechanisms, the potential for unintended or accidental collisions remains. The current perilous situation needs to be fully discussed. Looking to the long-term, Japan and China should urgently initiate and continue constructive dialogue to set up concrete crisis management mechanisms.


Both Japan and China need to deepen this dialogue calmly with a view to enhancing mutual understanding between their armed forces. In this context, the members of the Working Group on "Watch Your Six" (WY6) have written on the importance of military-to-military confidence building measures (CBMs). The significance of CBMs have been debated among prominent scholars in the United States and China. Increasing the predictability of military behavior of the other side has a tremendous effect on the prevention of unintended or accidental collisions in the East and South China Seas .・・・



Watch Your Six: China in a Global Perspective, No. 1PDF:222.5 KB

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