austin: To counter China,US defence secretary vows to shore up alliances in region – Times of India

NEW YORK: US defence secretary Lloyd J Austin III said on Saturday that the Biden administration would push both allies in the Pacific and US businesses to step up efforts to counter the increasingly urgent threat of China, and that the Pentagon was prepared to help Ukraine better defend itself against Russia as tensions flare between the two countries. “America is a Pacific power,” Austin declared during a speech at the annual Reagan National Defence Forum, the first in-person meeting of defence officials and experts since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re not asking countries to choose between the US and China. Instead, we’re working to advance an international system that is free and stable and open.”
He offered the broad outlines of his strategy for dealing with China, something he called “integrated deterrence,” which relies on both strengthening work with allies and partners in the region and pushing the US technology industry to keep ahead of Chinese innovations. The Biden administration has been trying to use concerns over both Russia’s and China’s intentions to bolster support among allies. In his remarks, Austin stressed that the US did not intend to build a new Nato for Asia. Rather, Washington is trying to better coordinate countries to block efforts by China to dominate the region, he said, pointing to the recent deal to help Australia deploy nuclear-powered submarine as an example of strengthening alliances.

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