US faces greatest military challenge from China: Jindal

Indian-American Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, has lashed out at Chinese military buildup, saying the US today faces the greatest military challenge from China.

PTI| Updated: Oct 07, 2014, 12:53 PM IST

Washington: Indian-American Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, has lashed out at Chinese military buildup, saying the US today faces the greatest military challenge from China.

"In terms of traditional military power, the greatest challenge facing the United States is China. For the past nearly 20 years, China has engaged in a massive military buildup," Jindal said in a major policy paper in defense which he co-authored with the former US Senator Jim Talent.

In the paper presented yesterday, he outlined his vision, that he says will save the American military from damage done by President Barack Obama.

"The Chinese regime, for nationalistic, political, and economic reasons, is seeking a sphere of influence - a kind of hegemony - in the East and South China Seas, and wants the option of using coercion to achieve their ends," Jindal said.

"For that reason, they are purposefully and relentlessly developing the capabilities to exclude American forces from the region," said Jindal, the first Indian-American Governor of a US State.

"The primary target of China's military buildup is the US," he said. "It would be wrong to view China as necessarily an enemy of the United States. China is a rising power with a proud history; it is natural that the Chinese would seek to dominate their region of the world," he added.

"The means by which the Chinese will use to achieve it are unacceptable to the US and its allies. America is bound by treaty to defend Japan and the Philippines, and has guaranteed de facto the territorial integrity of Taiwan," he said.

The United States, he said, has a vital interest in freedom of trade and travel for all nations in the East and South China Seas, and in the peaceful resolution of disputes among nations according to international norms, he added.

"Certainly, the Chinese understand that their national ambitions are bringing them into conflict with the United States; that is precisely why they are building up their power and doing so at such a rapid pace," Jindal said.

Jindal said the Obama Administration's 'Asia Pacific Rebalance' initiative is failing for lack of power.

"Nowhere else is the decline in America's military more dangerous than in East Asia," he said, adding the US simply does not have the forces to shift into the region and our potential allies and partners are reluctant to align themselves given America?s growing weakness.

"The balance of power in East Asia is changing; China will be, if it is not already, dominant in the region. If that happens, the 'rebalance' policy may prove very dangerous ? it effectively makes the US the obstacle to China's ambitions without effectively deterring them, thereby creating an environment of rising tension and possible conflict,"he said.