U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin mentioned the Chinese Communist Party in a speech at the Reagan National Defense Forum on Saturday (Dec. 4), telling Fox News that it is “no big deal. “(China is not10 feet tall).
Austin said, “The United States is a Pacific power. The Indo-Pacific is a region of great opportunity and real challenges. One of those challenges is that China (the Chinese Communist Party) is becoming more and more assertive and authoritarian.”
Austin joined other top defense leaders Saturday in emphasizing the importance of strengthening the relationship between the United States and its allies, not only in the Pacific, but globally.
Experts at the conference issued a warning against the threat posed by Communist China and Russia as both countries continue to build aggressive defense systems not seen since World War II.
Pictured is U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
We are facing a formidable challenge,” Austin said. But whether it’s in war or peace, we always get stronger when we work with our friends.”
Austin said the United States will not force countries to choose between relations with the United States or the Chinese Communist Party. He said the Biden administration wants to strengthen deterrence against possible Chinese Communist aggression on Taiwan, not change the status quo in the region.
Tensions between the United States and China continue to escalate in the Indo-Pacific region as the Chinese Communist Party is moving more aggressively to try to “reunify” Taiwan.
Taiwan is a sovereign polity, but the Communist Party, the United Nations and the United States all officially recognize it as part of the “one-China” policy under the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint Communiqués and the Six Assurances.
U.S. officials said repeatedly Saturday that the United States will continue to adhere to the one-China policy while remaining committed to supporting Taiwan’s defense.
Austin told Fox News, “We are conscious of the challenges that China (the Chinese Communist Party) presents, but China (the Communist Party) is no big deal, we are the United States.”
The Chinese Communist Party’s military ambitions have expanded beyond the Indo-Pacific region. In the recent past, the Chinese Communist Party has continued its efforts to expand its own nuclear program and ballistic missile tests, raising greater concern among defense and security officials about U.S. defense capabilities.
He added, “We have some of the greatest innovators in the world, and we will take the necessary steps to maintain our ability to innovate to help us maintain a competitive advantage in the future.”
Austin said, “We’re competing with China (Communist Party of China), but we don’t necessarily want to get involved in a conflict.”