Halifax, Nova Scotia (Associated Press)-The head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said on Saturday that the United States and its allies need to take greater Take action with a sense of urgency.
Admiral John C. Aquilino reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region when meeting with allies at the Halifax International Security Forum.
“Look at what the Chinese say. President Xi (Jin Ping) has asked his troops to reach the same military level as the United States by 2027. This is what he said,” Aquilino said in a meeting with reporters.
Aquilino said the United States and its allies need to cooperate more frequently in international waters to establish interoperability so that they can cooperate quickly when needed.
“We need to deliver capacity faster and faster,” he said
As the Chinese military deploys more and more fighter jets near the autonomous island of Taiwan, tensions intensify, and Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of its territory. China has threatened to use force to unite with it when necessary.
This week, the Chinese Coast Guard also intercepted and sprayed two Philippine ships carrying supplies to the disputed South China Sea shoal because of the sudden outbreak of territorial disputes that have been brewing over the strategic waterway for a long time.
China claims almost sovereignty over the entire South China Sea and has transformed seven shallows into missile-protected island bases to consolidate its claims, increase tensions, and shock hostile claimants and Western governments led by the United States
President Xi oversaw the hardline foreign policy and the expansion of the People’s Liberation Army, the party’s military branch. It has the world’s second largest military budget after the United States, and is developing submarines, stealth aircraft and ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.
“They work very fast,” Aquilino said.
The United States and its allies have been promoting the goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific region to ensure peace, free navigation and a rule-based international order for key international sea lanes. Japan, Australia, and India have also joined this action within the framework. Called a quartet. The strategic dialogue is seen as a measure to counter China’s growing influence in the region.
Britain and France, as well as some other countries, have also turned their attention to the region, and recently held joint military exercises.
China defends its growing maritime activities, saying it has the right to defend its sovereignty, security and development interests.
“We are fighting for our values and our ability to be free. These are the bets,” Aquilino said.
“The difference between freedom and openness or despotism and closure. Which Indo-Pacific region do you want to be a part of? For like-minded countries, this is obvious,” he added
Aquilino met with the Canadian Minister of Defense and the Canadian Minister of Defense on Friday.
The Halifax International Security Forum has been held for 13 years and has attracted defense and security officials from Western democracies. Approximately 300 people gather in the privacy of The Westin Halifax every year.