Former ARMY General Warns of ‘Military Accident’ Amid US/China Tensions

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  • As relations between the U.S. and China continue to deteriorate, one immediate risk is a “military accident or operational miscalculation” between the armed forces of both countries, said former U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry.
  • There have been several near military confrontations between the two nations, Eikenberry told CNBC’s Sri Jegarajah at the Morgan Stanley Asia Pacific Summit.
  • “Those were very serious diplomatic incidents. But now — with the deterioration between the sides — should we have an incident like that today, I think the consequences will be much greater,” said Eikeinberry.

As relations between the U.S. and China continue to deteriorate, one immediate risk is a “military accident or operational miscalculation” between the armed forces of both countries, said former U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry.

“Do I worry about the risks that we have with the increasing geopolitical competition with China? … the answer is very much yes,” Eikenberry, also a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, said Thursday.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have soured in recent months, as both countries slap additional tariffs on each other’s goods amid a battle over trade that has spread to the tech space and concerns over national security. Despite multiple high-level trade talks, negotiations appear to have hit an impasse.

There have been several near military confrontations between the two nations, Eikenberry told CNBC’s Sri Jegarajah at the Morgan Stanley Asia Pacific Summit in Singapore. A Chinese destroyer and a U.S. navy destroyer almost collided in the South China Sea late last year, he said.

In 2001, when a U.S. naval aircraft collided with a Chinese naval fighter and was forced to land in Hainan, said Eikenberry. Another incident was in 1996, when the U.S. accidentally bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during one of the wars in the Balkans. However, none of that led to a “large scale war,” he said.

“Those were very serious diplomatic incidents. But now — with the deterioration between the sides — should we have an incident like that today, I think the consequences will be much greater,” said Eikeinberry.

www.cnbc.com/2019/11/21/ex-us-army-official-warns-of-military-accident-amid-us-china-tensions.html

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