The United States will maintain needed military presence and capabilities to protect the interests of US, its allies and partners against potential threats in maritime Asia, this was made clear by Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian-Pacific Security Affairs David Shear in a press briefing Friday, August 21.
US Department of Defense “is investing a new cutting-edge capability, deploying our finest maritime capabilities forward, and distributing these capabilities more widely across the region,” he said.
He also reiterated Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s statement that “the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, as US forces do all around the world.”
Shear added that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an increasingly important US Defense partner and the department is working closely with ASEAN. “Through these venues, we aim to promote candid conversations about ongoing challenges in the maritime domain and encourage greater information-sharing and cooperative solutions.”
“We have a vested interest in ensuring that the claims are resolved peacefully and without conflict or coercion,” Shear added. “However, there are several trends – including rapid military modernization, growing resource demands and territorial maritime disputes – which have the potential to create instability in this vital region.”
“While land reclamation is not new, and China is not the only claimant to have conducted reclamation, China’s recent activities outweigh other efforts in size, pace and nature,” he added.