US creates new software tool to predict stocks that could anger China


HONOLULU, Hawaii, December 15 (Reuters) – U.S. military commanders in the Pacific have developed a software tool to predict how the Chinese government will react to U.S. actions in the region such as military sales, state-backed military activities -United and even Congress tours to hot spots like Taiwan.

Assistant Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks was briefed on the new tool during a visit to the United States Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii on Tuesday.

“With the specter of conflicts and challenges stretching all the way to the gray area. What you see is the need to look at a much larger set of indicators, weave them together and then understand. the interplay of threats, “Hicks said in an interview aboard a military jet en route to California.

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The tool calculates “strategic friction,” a defense official said. It examines data since early 2020 and assesses significant activities that have impacted US-China-U.S. Relations. The computer system will help the Pentagon predict whether certain actions will provoke an outsized Chinese reaction.

In October, the Chinese military condemned the United States and Canada for each sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait, saying they threatened peace and stability in the region. The incident and others like it fueled demand for the tool, the U.S. official said, to ensure the U.S. doesn’t inadvertently bother China with its actions.

While relations between the United States and China are already at an all-time low, the tool provides visibility into various activities such as Congressional visits to Taiwan, arms sales to allies in the region or when multiple ships Americans sailing the Taiwan Strait could provoke an outsized or unintentional Chinese reaction.

China claims Taiwan as a democratically ruled territory and has staged repeated Air Force missions to Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the past year, sparking anger in Taipei.

The new software will allow U.S. officials to anticipate planned actions up to four months in advance, the official said.

Hicks is visiting U.S. bases this week as the Biden administration’s 2023 budget proposal takes shape. The Defense Ministry hopes to shift the dollars from the budget to an army that can deter China and Russia.

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Reporting by Mike Stone in Honolulu Editing by Matthew Lewis and Michael Perry

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