Critical to have direct communication with China: Pentagon boss

© Reuters. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin attends a hearing on the Pentagon’s budget proposal to testify before a Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA on June 10, 2021. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Thursday it was crucial to have direct lines of communication with Chinese officials in the event of an accident.

“I’m concerned that something might happen that could cause a crisis, and I think we need the opportunity to speak to our allies and partners, but also to our adversaries or potential adversaries,” said Austin the legislature during a Senate Armed Services committee hearing.

“There needs to be a direct line of communication between the military and also between government officials,” he added.

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