HH:- Given new tension, could there ever be a NATO of Asia between American allies?
KELLY:- I don’t see that happening. There are long memories in the Asia Pacific. There are tremendously long, bad relationship even though things have been peaceful for a number of years.
HH:- More mistrust than in Europe?
KELLY:- I think that’s a fair statement.
HH:- In naval terms, how difficult might it become?
KELLY:- It depends on which bridge of which ship your standing on and which country you’re playing with. It’s very delicate. With the navies of the world, people are wearing a uniform and serving their nations and being extremely professional. But there is a lot of room for miscalculation if you throw in the other actors taking it down further to the fishing fleets that are being used as a proxy navy certainly by China. Now, you’re getting into a different level.
HH: What is the main danger?
KELLY:- We have a lot of forces working in waters that are not recognised by the international community. You’ve got to drive the ships pretty carefully there. If the leaders of those forces in close proximity to each other are not talking to each other bridge-to-bridge by whatever means necessary you could have something go on that’s not going to make people happy. When you get the mix of all those things going, on you’ve got a lot of room for miscalculation