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China and the U.S. has become vulnerable due to the cultural issues regarding their telephone hotline

March 01, 2023: -The politically significant U.S.-China relationship is vulnerable to cultural differences, like why a phone call doesn’t get picked up.

Following the U.S. shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon this month, China’s defence ministry refused a call with its U.S. counterpart, the statements from both sides showed.

It had happened before China did not reply to the phone, and a hotline had been set up for emergencies.

Chinese culture is why, said Shen Yamei, deputy director and associate research person at state-backed think tank China Institute of International Studies group for American studies.

She stated that she was unaware of what happened in the U.S. and China regarding the refused phone call. But she spoke about the potential factors, “the hidden worry,” in her understanding of Chinese culture.

“We are terrified that if the conflict control or crisis control steps that the U.S. has been keen to set up are put in place, then it might be encouraging careless and brazenly strong action from the U.S. side,” Shen said.

“We want China-U.S. relations to be stable,” she stated. “If the U.S. always speaks about the worst-case scenario, the hotlines, the crisis control, then we are putting U.S.-China relations on a shallow scale.”

“You have hotlines as if something transforms difficult or anxious, or there is nearly a potential for a major misunderstanding and therefore a major miscalculation, you need to be able to communicate to each other quickly,” said Barbara K. Bodine, an ex-ambassador and director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at the University of Georgetown.

“Even though we don’t call it a hotline, if something happens with Ottawa, we get on the phone and say, ‘Excuse me, what was that?'” she stated. “That’s the basic part of diplomacy,” she further stated.

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