US military commanders in the Pacific have developed a software tool to predict how China will react to US actions in the region.

Deputy secretary of defence Kathleen Hicks was briefed on the new tool during a visit to the United States Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii on Tuesday. Hicks said in an interview:

“With the spectrum of conflict and the challenge sets spanning down into the grey zone, what you see is the need to be looking at a far broader set of indicators, weaving that together and then understanding the threat interaction.”

This tool actually calculates “strategic friction”by looking at data from early 2020 and evaluating significant activities that had affected Sino-US relations. The computer-based system actually helps the Pentagon predict whether certain actions will provoke an outsized Chinese reaction.

US deputy defence secretary Kathleen Hicks speaks with Brigadier General Todd Moore, deputy commander of Space Training and Readiness Command. Photo Credits: Reuters

Few months ago the Chinese military condemned the US and Canada for each sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait, saying they were disrupting the peace in the region. The incident and others like it had fuelled demand for the tool, the US official said, to ensure the US did not inadvertently upset China with its actions.

During the time when the relations between the US and China are already at a low point, the tool provides visibility across a variety of activities, such as congressional visits to Taiwan, arms sales to allies in the region or the sailing of  several US ships.

Beijing claims Taiwan as its own territory and has mounted repeated air force missions into the island’s air defence identification zone, provoking anger in Taipei.

This new software will allow US officials to look forward to planned actions in advance.

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Nikoleta Yanakieva Editor at DevStyleR International