Statement on China’s Decision to Pull Out of Cross-Strait Joint Maritime Rescue Drill

Oct. 31, 2018

We were deeply disappointed to hear of China’s decision to once again halt the cross-Strait joint maritime rescue drill this year. This drill aims to improve maritime emergency response coordination so all parties will be better equipped to carry out search and rescue operations, maritime firefighting efforts, and assistance to vessels in distress. Such activities play an important role in enhancing regional maritime safety and should proceed free from political considerations. We hope that going forward, China will participate in activities that focus on areas of mutual interest and concern across the Taiwan Strait. The United States has a deep and abiding interest in cross-Strait stability; we support moves towards greater cooperation and oppose any unilateral efforts by China to alter the status quo.