China Muscles Its Neighbours And Devour Pacific Resources: US Defense Commander

On Saturday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin chastised China for a series of coercive, aggressive, and hazardous acts that endanger Asia’s stability, and warned that the US would stand by allies to oppose any pressure.

“Political intimidation, economic coercion, or harassment by maritime militias should not be tolerated in Indo-Pacific countries,” Austin stated at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s largest defense forum.

“The PRC’s actions threaten to undermine security, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific,” Austin warned, referring to the country by its full name, the People’s Republic of China.

China Empowering Itself

He cited a variety of examples of China imposing its will on its neighbors, including deploying a huge number of jets into the skies over Taiwan, dangerously intercepting US partners’ patrol planes, and illegal fishing operations that “plunder the region’s resources.”

Disputes Over Taiwan

Taiwan was mentioned several times in Austin’s speech, as well as during Austin’s Friday evening meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe.

During the conference, both sides accused the other of attempting to alter the decades-long status quo on Taiwan’s self-governing island. On Saturday, Austin vehemently disputed that Washington had taken such steps.

He remarked, “We’re determined to maintain the status quo that has served this region so well for so long.” The United States recognizes China’s claim that Taiwan is a part of China under the “One China” policy, although it has never officially accepted Beijing’s claim to the democratic island of 23 million people. Austin, on the other hand, stated that China operated in a different manner.

“Provocative and disruptive military activities near Taiwan has steadily increased. PLA aircraft have been flying near Taiwan in record numbers in recent months — almost daily, in fact, “Chinese warplanes have flown within Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, he claimed. Austin’s statement was later dubbed a “confrontation” by China on Saturday.