A top Pentagon official stated that Beijing has adopted a more coercive and aggressive approach to the Indo-Pacific region, observing that China has demonstrated increased military competence and a willingness to take risks.
She stated that in 2020 alone, Beijing escalated tensions over a host of issues with several neighbors, including Australia, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
Hicks further added that it was involved in an armed confrontation with India along the Line of Actual Control which resulted in the loss of life on both sides and further tightened its grip on Hong Kong, including the instituting an oppressive national security law.
US President Joe Biden recently released his interim National Security Strategic Guidance, against this backdrop, that highlights China’s increasing assertiveness.
It was noted by the interim guidance that Beijing is the only competitor potentially capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system.
Dr Hicks informed that to advance the interests of the American people and our democracy, the US must be able to compete for the future of our way of life across all these dimension and for the US military, that will often mean serving as a supporting player to diplomatic, economic and other soft power tools.