BANGKOK (Reuters) – A partnership between the US and “like-minded nations” will hold Asian nations safe within the face of competitors from a rising China, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet stated on Friday.
On a go to to Bangkok, Admiral John Aquilino, 56, criticized China’s development of synthetic islands within the South China Sea, an important commerce waterway with wealthy vitality sources the place Beijing has disputes with 5 nations.
“We’re in competitors with the Folks’s Republic of China,” Aquilino informed reporters.
“Now we have inherent disagreement between ideologies. When the U.S. talks about values, these are values that like minded nations share… And I imagine that the energy of partnerships with these values shall be what retains the nations within the area safe.”
Tensions are excessive between China and the US in Asia’s waters, the place Washington says it’s defending freedom of navigation in accordance with worldwide legislation and Beijing accuses the US of making an attempt to stir bother.
“I stated we had been in competitors with China however that doesn’t imply battle,” Aquilino stated. “We’ll cooperate the place we will and we’ll compete the place we should.”
Underneath the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, some Southeast Asian nations have been involved at a doable U.S. pullback simply as China’s dominance grows, however Aquilino stated the US could be within the area for years to come back.
He cited so-called freedom of navigation operations in each the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait during which U.S. and allied warships have sailed by what China claims as its territorial waters, frightening Beijing’s ire.
He stated that within the South China Sea, China had constructed options in defiance of worldwide legislation, that injury the surroundings, have a army objective and “in the end coerce and bully nations within the area.”
(Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um; Modifying by Matthew Tostevin)
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