At a crucial security forum, Lloyd Austin warned that Beijing’s military activity near Taiwan posed a danger to the region’s stability.
United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reaffirmed that the United States will stand by its allies and partners in the Asia Pacific region.
Austin also accused China of engaging in “provocative and destabilising” military activity around Taiwan, as well as taking an increasingly “coercive and aggressive” approach to its extensive maritime claims in the Asia Pacific region.
During his nearly one-hour-long address to the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Austin emphasised that the United States was committed to the “rules-based international order” and would work in partnership to maintain peace and stability in the region. Austin’s speech was in response to a question from a participant in the dialogue.
He said that the United States’ attitude towards Taiwan, an island that is self-governed but that Beijing claims as its own, has not changed.
During the security forum, he informed the participants that “our policy has not changed.” “However, it is sorry to say that this does not seem to be the case for the PRC [People’s Republic of China].
The actions of the PRC pose a risk to the maintenance of peace and stability. That isn’t only in the United States’ best interest; it’s a subject of worry for the whole world.
the comments made by Austin came a day after he had his first face-to-face talks with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe.
during which Wei reiterated China’s willingness to go to war to prevent Taiwan from becoming independent.
Austin’s comments came a day after Austin had his first face-to-face talks with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe.
In recent years, Beijing has boosted the number of military exercises that it conducts around the island.
It does this by routinely sending flights into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone, which included 30 aircraft at the end of May.
In the East China Sea and the South China Sea, where he said Beijing was becoming.
“coercive and aggressive” in its determination to push forward its maritime claims.
Austin reaffirmed his concern about Beijing’s increasingly assertive approach.
He said this was an area where Beijing was acting more “coercive and aggressive.”
He emphasised that the United States will continue to have a “active presence” across the Asia Pacific region.
We shall sail, fly, and operate wherever the international law permits us to do so
we will do so in conjunction with our partners.
“Let me be clear, we do not desire confrontation or conflict,” he continued. “Let me emphasise that point.”
“We do not desire a new Cold War;
we do not seek an Asian NATO;
But we won’t back down when it comes to protecting our own interests.”