'US trying to bring China into global security environment'
Washington: The US is doing everything to bring the Chinese military into the global security environment, a top American commander said on Thursday.
"We are hopeful that they're part of the security environment, and we're doing everything we can possible with the Chinese, at least on the military-to-military, to try to bring them into the security environment in a way -- it's already fairly mature globally -- in a way that they are a productive part of that environment," PACOM Commander Admiral Sameul J Locklear III said.
"My assessment is that, if I were China and I was in the economic position that China is in and I was in a position of where I have to look after my global security interests, I would consider building an aircraft carrier. And I might consider building several aircraft carriers," he said when asked about China building an aircraft career.
"So the real question is whether we should be concerned with them or not. Like any other country that build aircraft carriers is whether or not those types of platforms will be successfully integrated into a global security environment that's a peaceful one," Locklear told Pentagon reporters at a news conference.
"And they have a role in maintaining the peaceful global security environment. If the issue is that they are not part of that global security environment, then I think we have to be concerned about them," he said.
Responding to a question on the Chinese assertiveness, especially in the context of the disputed South China Sea, Locklear said the issue of territorial dispute here is quite complicated.
"The issues that are being faced today in the South China Sea and in other areas in the north and central East Asia, I think, are quite complicated because of the nature of the territorial disputes, some of them historic, some of them now driven by the need for access to resources in those areas," he said.
"To some degree that has motivated some of the activities that you see, seeing there," he said, adding the US position is that it does not take sides on territorial disputes.
"There's many of those around the globe, not just in the South China Sea. But we do want them resolved peacefully, without coercion," he said.
"We call on all the parties there, including the Chinese, to ensure that, as they approach these problems, that they do so in a way that avoids conflict, that avoids miscalculation, that uses the vehicles available today through diplomacy and through those legal forums that allow them to get to reasonable solutions on these without resorting to coercion or conflict," Locklear said.
"And so, it's important, as we go forward, to ensure that all parties remain calm about these things and that we don't unnecessarily introduce war-fighting apparatus into these decisions or into these discussions," he said.
The US-China military-to-military relationships in the last couple of years have been quite historic, he said.
"They have increased and they have endured what, in the past, might have made them be truncated. So they've endured, you know, diplomatic issues that in the past might have stopped them and we've continued to have the mil-to-mil," Locklear said.