US will remain a Pacific Power: Mike Mullen

The US will remain a pacific power, the top US military chief has said in a remark aimed at sending a clear message to China.

Washington: The United States will remain
a pacific power, the top US military chief has said in a
remark aimed at sending a clear message to China, which is
showing opposition to the American dominance in the region.

"We are and will remain a Pacific power," Admiral Mike
Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a
Washington Foreign Press Center news conference on Monday.

"Our military is and will remain the long arm of that
power. We will not shrink from old or new responsibilities.
And we most certainly will not shrink from every opportunity
to enhance peace and stability in this vital part of the
world," he said.

According to statements featured on a US Navy website,
the Pacific Fleet "remains the world`s largest naval command,
extending from the West Coast of the United States, into the
Indian Ocean, encompassing three oceans, six continents, and
more than half the Earth`s surface." It has "180 ships, nearly
2,000 aircraft, and 125,000 Sailors, Marines, and Civilians."

Mullen, who has just returned from China, said it is
important that the US develops its military relationship with
China, but it cannot let it develop its thinking, planning and
force posture decisions.

"We have other vital and enduring security commitments
in the region that we must also deepen and broaden," he said,
adding that this is the reason that he went to Japan and South
Korea after his trip to China.

"We aim to strengthen other partnerships, as well. Our
alliance with Australia represents yet another model for
interoperability, transparency, and meaningful, combined,
full-spectrum capabilities. We will make it better with more
joint operations, exercises and exchanges," he said.

"We seek expanded military cooperation, as well, with
India on non-proliferation, safeguarding the global commons and
countering terrorism. And we will expand our military security
cooperation and exercises with the Philippines, Thailand,
Vietnam, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Singapore, and other
states in the region, working with them to address common
threats to their sovereignty and security," Mullen said.

"We would also ask them to do the same with others,
and that`s my final point today. We have an enduring security
commitment in the Pacific we plan to deepen, but so, too,
would we like to see others deepen their cooperation with
their neighbours. Relationships matter -- not just bilateral
relationships, but collective ones, whether they include the
United States or not," he said.

This is the reason why Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton traveled to the ASEAN Regional Forum last week, and
it`s why the US military will continue to place increased
emphasis on its work with that body and with other
multilateral forums.

PTI

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