Two Chinese military commanders are refusing to consult with the commander of the Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific Command amid rising tensions between the two militaries, Adm. John C. Aquilino, the U.S. Pacific commander said Thursday in Singapore.
Adm. Aquilino also sought to counter statements made last week by Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang who said war with the United States is inevitable unless Washington moderates its policies.
The four-star commander said he was urged to reach out to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) commanders by regional defense chiefs and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Mr. Austin met in November with Gen. Wei Fenghe, China’s defense minister who is widely viewed as a figurehead within the military power structure controlled by the Communist Party.
Both officials agreed at that meeting that Adm. Aquilino should meet with PLA operational commanders for the southern and eastern theater military commands.