US Confronts China: U.S. Military Plans Long, Active Stay In South China Sea


US to remain active in South China Sea: admiral

The head of the US military’s Pacific Command said Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea was causing concern in the region, adding that Washington would work to ensure security and protect important trade routes.

The US military has been present in the region for 150 years and will remain there for many more, Admiral Robert Willard told reporters Wednesday after meeting the head of the Philippine military, Lieutenant-General Ricardo David.

Beijing wants to handle the South China Sea issue on a one-on-one basis. “What the US opposes is any resort of force or forms of coercion to stake these claims on the part of any single nation at the expense of the others,” Willard said, adding that the US Navy would work with “our partners in the region.”

China claims indisputable sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea and the surrounding waters, but countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines have also made competing claims.

Willard’s remarks came after the US and Vietnam held their first high-level defense dialogue in Hanoi on Tuesday on ways to enhance cooperation by the two sides.

Su Hao, dean of the Asia-Pacific Study Center of the Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that Washington is piling up pressure on Beijing over the South China Sea issue.

“At present, cooperation between Washington and Hanoi is still project-oriented, far from a solid defensive mechanism,” Su said. “However, mutual interests in the South China Sea are bringing these two former foes closer, and the US has shown its intention to curb China’s influence in the region.”

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