U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper lashed out at China on Wednesday, saying the United States has a responsibility to lead in the Pacific and “will not give an inch to countries that think their political systems are better,” Reuters reported On Thursday.
During a visit to Hawaii, Mr Esper said that while Beijing had failed to deliver on its promises and was pursuing aggressive military modernisation, it wanted to work with China to respect the international rules-based order.
‘China has not fulfilled its commitment to abide by international law, rules and norms,’ Mr. Esper said, adding that Beijing wants to show its power to the world.
“To advance the party’s agenda, the PLA continues its ambitious modernisation programme and aims to be a world-class military by the middle of the century,” Mr Esper said of the ruling Chinese Communist Party. There is no doubt that this will involve provocative actions by the PLA in the South and East China Seas and wherever the Chinese government deems vital to its interests.”
However, Esper said that while the United States aims to contain China, it also wants to “continue to work with the People’s Republic of China to bring them back on track more consistent with the rules-based international order.”
The deteriorating relationship between the two economic giants has led to mutual recrimination and mistrust in areas such as trade, technology, education and the epidemic.
Mr Esper described the Indo-Pacific as central to “great power competition with China”, but added that, together with Russia, China’s influence was now global and the US needed to be able to deal with them globally. “The United States has a responsibility to lead. For a long time, we have been a Pacific nation, an Indo-Pacific nation.”
In an Aug. 24 article in the Wall Street Journal titled ‘The Pentagon is Ready for China,’ Mr. Esper proposed three measures to counter the threat from the People’s Liberation Army. In a new era of global competition, Mr. Esper writes, the United States feels threatened by Chinese leaders’ positioning of the military and the potential to reshape the international order.
Esper also said China’s actions have prompted the PENTAGON to accelerate the implementation of the National Defense Strategy Report. First, to compete with China for the long term, the United States needs armed forces that can compete, deter and win in all areas of land, sea, air, space and cyberspace. Second, the United States needs to expand and strengthen its network of Allies and partners; Third, the United States needs to continue to build the capacity of its partners.
The PENTAGON sees the modernization of the PLA as a trend the world must study and prepare for, just as the United States and the West studied and responded to the armed forces of the former Soviet Union in the 20th century. The PLA has publicly announced plans to modernize its military by 2035 and become a world-class force by 2049, including a strong Arsenal of conventional missiles and a suite of advanced cyber, space and electronic warfare capabilities. It also includes deploying artificial intelligence. At the end of the article, Esper urges all countries to review and consider cutting ties with the People’s Liberation Army.
Local time on August 5, ace pearl at the Aspen Institute, a think-tank in Washington, the Aspen Institute) to the annual safety BBS video conference, said the pentagon now is the focus of competition from China, the United States not only regard China as a rival, in the Pacific Ocean is the global competition, he want to make sure that the military capabilities of the United States is always in readiness, once must respond, must be overcome.
“China is a rising threat,” Esper said at the time. “I don’t think China’s threat is inevitable, but, whatever the case may be, it’s a fight to be fought, and I want to make sure that the United States is fighting to win and to have an advantage over China in every area.”
He pointed out that in the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy report (NDS), the United States has identified its main strategic competitors, China first and Russia second in order. He also stressed that the United States will strengthen cooperation and coordination with its military Allies.