China will continue to “escalate” its hostile behavior unless the United States demonstrates it stands ready to respond “aggressively” to provocation, a veteran US sailor warned.
President Xi Jinping and Joe Biden came together last week after months of tensions over the People’s Republic of China’s threatening conduct toward Taiwan and nations disputing Beijing’s claims over the South China Sea.
While the meeting was seen as a step toward clearer communication between the two countries, expert Brent Sadler told Daily Express US the Biden Administration is not doing enough to put an end to Beijing’s belligerent conduct.
He argued the US has considerable “leverage” to weigh against China at the moment but is not using it appropriately.
Sadler also insisted the US Navy strategy should be focused on expanding its presence in the Pacific to better monitor Chinese military advancements and put appropriate pressure on the PRC to behave.
The US Naval Power in the 21st Century author said: “The US has lots of leverage today that it is not taking advantage of.
“One, the rallying of regional partners and allies to a more forceful push-back to Chinese belligerence and aggressiveness – think Philippines around Second Thomas Shoal, Australia with AUKUS, Japan increasing defense spending over two percent in the coming years.
“The US also has a military capability and sustaining a robust military (specifically two aircraft carriers strike groups) nearly persistently in the Western Pacific for the past two years needs to be guarded and sustained at a minimum.
“But the Army needs to up its deployment patterns to the region through a more robust Pacific Pathways deployment program.”
In recent weeks, China repeatedly clashed with Manila over control of the Second Thomas Shoal atoll in the South China Sea.
The submerged reef is claimed by several nations, including Taiwan, Vietnam and China – which claims virtual control over the whole of the South China Sea.
Washington DC has offered support to the Philippines, which has a military base on Second Thomas Shoal, and also repeatedly warned Beijing to give up aspirations to annex Taiwan.
While the Chinese Communist Party never held control over the island in the 70 years since it took power in Beijing, it has continued to abide by the One China principle.
President Xi has continued to fuel fear he could authorize an invasion of Taipei, a concern exacerbated by China’s ongoing efforts to modernize and expand its military capacities.
Asked about how concerned the US should be about this strategy, Sadler said: “The US is well behind the curve on the military pacing rhetoric, the Chinese PLA is beyond the US in capacity both in numbers of units, firepower and industrial might.
“However, this is checked in two parts by some niche capabilities the US has and the increasing defense spending of regional allies like Japan, Taiwan and Australia to blunt the Chinese advantage – but this is fleeting.
“In the near-term the US military is needed to be present in the South and East China Seas persistently and ready to respond aggressively and locally to any Chinese provocation – there needs to be cost or else these will continue and escalate.”
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Post source: Express