BANGKOK (Reuters) – A collaboration between the United States and “like-minded nations” will keep Asian nations protect in the face of competition from a rising China, the leader of the U.S. Pacific Fleet stated on Friday.
On a check out to Bangkok, Admiral John Aquilino, 56, slammed China’s building of artificial islands in the South China Sea, a crucial trade waterway with abundant energy resources where Beijing has disputes with 5 nations.
” We remain in competitors with the People’s Republic of China,” Aquilino informed press reporters.
” We have fundamental argument between ideologies. When the U.S. talks about worths, those are values that like minded countries share … And I believe that the strength of partnerships with those worths will be what keeps the nations in the region secure.”
Stress are high in between China and the United States in Asia’s waters, where Washington states it is safeguarding liberty of navigation in accordance with international law and Beijing accuses the United States of trying to stir problem.
” I stated we were in competitors with China however that does not indicate conflict,” Aquilino said. “We will comply where we can and we will compete where we must.”
Under the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, some Southeast Asian nations have been worried at a possible U.S. pullback simply as China’s dominance grows, however Aquilino stated the United States would remain in the area for many years to come.
He pointed out so-called freedom of navigation operations in both the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait in which U.S. and allied warships have actually cruised through what China claims as its territorial waters, provoking Beijing’s ire.
He stated that in the South China Sea, China had actually constructed features in defiance of global law, that damage the environment, have a military purpose and “eventually coerce and bully nations in the region.”
( Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um; Modifying by Matthew Tostevin)