The US military has announced the renaming of US Pacific Command to US Indo-Pacific Command. The renaming has been done to recognise the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and America’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific. The announcement was made by US Secretary of Defence James N Mattis on Wednesday.
Navy Admiral Philip S Davidson has been named as the new commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command.
According to officials, though the name has been changed, the mission of US Indo-Pacific Command will remain the same. It will continue the mission of security and stability in the region from the coast of Africa to the coast of California.
Meanwhile, James Mattis said that the US is going out of its way to cooperate with Pacific nations, days after America withdrew an invitation to China to participate in the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise.
Asserting that the US is committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific, the Pentagon recently said China's continued militarisation of disputed features in the South China Sea only serve to raise tensions and "destabilise" the region.
Mattis, on his way to Hawaii, the headquarters of the US Pacific Command, told reporters: "We are going out of our way to cooperate with Pacific nations. That's the way we do business in the world".
"But we are also going to confront what we believe is out of step with international law, out of step with international tribunals that have spoken on the issue, and part of this is we maintain a very transparent military activity out in the Pacific," Mattis said in response to a question on the recent Pentagon decision to rescind its invitation to China to participate in the Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC) military exercise.
(With PTI Inputs)