US admiral warns of Chinese threat, urges allies to work and train more closely – .

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US admiral warns of Chinese threat, urges allies to work and train more closely – .


The United States and its allies should act more urgently in the face of rapidly changing Chinese military tactics, the new American commander of the Indo-Pacific region warned on Saturday.
Admiral John Aquilino spoke at the Halifax International Security Forum and urged allies to participate in more joint military exercises, which have grown in size and complexity in the region over the past two years.

The exercises aim to enable like-minded nations to come together quickly and work together transparently in the event of a crisis.

In early October, a combined multinational fleet of four aircraft carriers and support vessels with more than 15,000 sailors participated in an exercise in the waters off the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, a demonstration intended to show solidarity in the face of the increased tension in the area. . The Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg was part of the exercise.

Aquilino said allies interested in defending the current international framework are welcome.

U.S. Admiral John Aquilino addresses reporters during a panel discussion at the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday. (Contribution to FSHI)

What is important, he said, is to appreciate the way the world is changing in Asia, sometimes not in a good way.

The admiral did not mention China by name during his official speech, but was more direct when speaking to reporters.

“We are talking about intention, to understand where the [globe’s] the biggest strategic competition is going on, ”Aquilino told reporters during a roundtable on Saturday afternoon. preserve peace and stability in the region.

Aquilino said the United States is committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific region and that the rapid build-up of sophisticated Chinese military and paramilitary capabilities is a concern.

“Look what the Chinese said. President Xi [Jinping] instructed its forces to reach a level of military parity with the United States by 2027. These are its words, ”Aquilino said.

Rising tensions

Tension has increased dramatically in recent months, in part due to China’s repeated testing of Taiwan’s air defense zone with fighter jets and bombers.

Claimed by China as its own territory, Taiwan is under increasing military and political pressure to accept Beijing’s reign, causing concern in the international community.

Xi pledged to achieve “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan.

China has tested hypersonic missiles, which can deliver conventional – and soon nuclear – warheads to anywhere in the world in minutes. It is also said to be expanding its nuclear arsenal.

Chinese Coast Guard ships on Thursday blocked and fired water cannons at two Filipino boats carrying supplies to a disputed South China Sea outpost. The Filipinos lodged a formal diplomatic protest.

In recent years, China has claimed almost all of the South China Sea and built man-made islands where missile batteries have been installed.

HMCS Winnipeg, HNLMS Evertsen and RFA Tidespring are pictured in formation September 9 during Exercise Pacific Crown. (UK MOD Crown)

Australia recently negotiated a nuclear submarine deal with the United States, breaking a contract with France to purchase conventional submarines. The way the deal was handled angered France politically, straining relations between the allies.

Canada’s acting military commander said the Australians had made a difficult decision in increasingly difficult times.

“Australia, like every country does, has done a neighborhood safety assessment. What capacities do they need to protect their sovereignty? General Wayne Eyre said in an interview with CBC News. “And let’s face it, it’s an increasingly dangerous part of the world. So getting one of our closest allies to invest in this kind of technology isn’t necessarily a bad thing. ”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Canada has no plans to acquire its own nuclear submarines and has rejected the deal involving the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom as only involving on the sale of defense equipment.

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