Defense Secretary Ashton Carter believes that China’s efforts to expand its territory in the Pacific, including the development of man-made islands, could isolate the country in terms of regional power, Defense News reported Wednesday.
“China’s actions are bringing countries in the region together in new ways … [and] they’re increasing demand for American engagement in the Asia-Pacific,” Carter said during a change-of-command ceremony for the U.S. Pacific Command.
Aaron Mehta writes that Carter indicated continued U.S. activity in areas allowed under international law amid China’s territorial claims.
“China is out of step with both international norms that underscore the Asia-Pacific’s security architecture, and the regional consensus in favor of non-coercive approaches to this and other longstanding disputes,” the secretary added.
Mehta reports that Carter’s planned trips to Singapore, India and Vietnam are also part of efforts to build allied capability in the Pacific following a recent military agreement with Japan.