is continuing to harden its position along the borders with India, US Defence
Secretary Lloyd James Austin said stressing that America stands by its friends
as they uphold their rights as Beijing adopts the "war coercive" and
"aggressive approach" to its territorial claims.
China is taking aggressive and
illegal approaches to the territories
Speaking at the
Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Austin noted that China is taking aggressive
and illegal approaches to the territories it claims in the South China Sea and
advancing its illegal maritime plans. "Further to the West, we see Beijing
continuing to harden the position along the borders it shares with India,"
he said. The Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a tense border
standoff in eastern Ladakh since May 5, 2020, when a violent clash between the
two sides erupted in the Pangong lake area.
China has also
been building bridges and constructing other infrastructure such as roads and
residential units in the border areas with India. China also has maritime
border disputes with various countries in the Indo-Pacific region such as
Vietnam and Japan. "We remain unwavering in our mutual defense
commitments," Austin assured.
the defense delegates at the Singapore dialogue the importance of joint
exercises conducted by the USS Theodore Roosevelt with the Indian Navy and the
Indian Air Force in the Indian Ocean last spring.
the US remains open and fully prepared to deter and defeat future aggression,
he said, "We also stand by our friends as they uphold their rights that is
especially important as the People's Republic of China adopts the war coercive
and aggressive approach to its territorial claims."
He said the US believes that India's
"growing military capability and technological prowess can be a
stabilizing force in the region. India, the US and several other world
powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving
Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military manoeuvring in the resource-rich
claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the
Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it