United States plans to defend Indo-Pacific region against coercion, bullying by authoritarian regimes

United States Admiral John Aquilino, head of the Indo-Pacific Command, said on Thursday that Washington does not seek to control China or seek conflict in the region, but that it will act to support the region against oppression and bullying by authoritarian regimes. will do

Speaking at a lecture in Singapore, Aquilino said the era of globalization has transformed into one of “renewed great power competition” where the security environment affects economics, trade and investment.

“My concern is that the foundation of this principled international order … is under direct attack from authoritarian regimes,” he said, without naming any nation, though he noted China’s “intentions” in the Solomon Islands. noted recent initiatives to gain a foothold”.

A year ago a security alliance between China and the Solomon Islands sent shockwaves across the South Pacific, with many fearing it could lead to a massive military buildup.

The US is moving to increase its military presence in Australia as China continues to exert influence in the Indo-Pacific.

Aquilino also spoke. China protests over US ships and aircraft in the Taiwan Strait, where Beijing has renewed its threats against Taiwan, which China claims it will control by force if necessary.

While the US does not seek conflict and does not support Taiwan independence, he said the military would continue to “fly, sail and operate” in the region to uphold the maritime rights and freedoms of all nations.

Admiral John Aquilino delivers a speech in Singapore on March 16, 2023. Aquilino said Washington does not seek to contain China, but will act to support the Indo-Pacific region against bullying authoritarian regimes. (IISS via AP)

“Revolutionary forces seek to destroy and displace the existing system in ways that benefit themselves, and at the expense of others. They use coercion, intimidation, and ‘possibility’ to achieve their goals. justify their actions under the doctrine of ‘equal rights’. They said.

Defense Secretary Austin says we will not allow China to shape the Indo-Pacific region

“They make illegal territorial claims based on nothing other than revisionist history. They use law enforcement agencies to harass nations operating legally in their exclusive economic zones. Empower. They break formal commitments. They ignore international legal orders. The UN Charter,” he said, referring to aggressive Chinese actions in the South China Sea and increasing Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s air defense zones. said to

Aquilino said China has a role to play in the world if it abides by the rules-based order, particularly regarding North Korea.

In 2022 alone, Pyongyang launched 70 missiles, which Aquilino called the most provocative action in history. Early on Thursday, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, hours before the leaders of South Korea and Japan were due to meet at a Tokyo summit, he said.

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Pyongyang’s actions pose a threat to South Korea. And Japan And it has “developed the capabilities to threaten the United States as well,” he said.

“It’s destabilizing, it’s unpredictable, it’s ongoing, it’s not slowing down. The ability of the People’s Republic of China to help prevent the DPRK from carrying out these events would be helpful.” Aquilino added, using the official names of China and the North. Korea

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