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World at War

US Indo-Pacific Command Chief Says ‘Very Concerned’ About China-Russia Relationship

by Sputnik
March 22nd 2024, 6:43 am
Image Credit:
GREG BAKER / Contributor / Getty
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The partnership between Russia and China is a major concern for the US military as it changes the United States’ security environment, US Indo-Pacific Command chief John Aquilino said during a congressional hearing on Wednesday.

That [Russia-China] cooperation from those two authoritarian nations puts us in a different security environment, so I’m very concerned about that,” Aquilino told the US Senate Armed Services Committee.

Aquilino said the China-Russia relationship is amplified by North Korea’s support for Russia in the form of ballistic missiles and other munitions and capabilities.

The China-Russia relationship is a way to counter the United States and its alliances with other nations in the Indo-Pacific region, he added.

US Reiterates Need for Hypersonic Weapons to Protect Guam

The US Indo-Pacific Command also reiterated that it needed hypersonic weapon capabilities in order to protect Guam.

“I’ve articulated the requirement and it’s been consistent for five years, which is a 360-degree integrated air and missile defense capability for Guam that would protect our citizens and protect the forces that we need, and that includes ballistic, hypersonic, and cruise missile threats,” Aquilino testified at the hearing.

Aquilino also said that these capabilities needed to be in place more quickly, ideally by 2027.

He added that it would not be destabilizing for the US to have offensive hypersonic capabilities in competition with China.

US Says China Would Like to Avoid War Over Taiwan

My view is that China would absolutely like to assimilate Taiwan without a war,” Admiral Aquilino noted.

Aquilino said this was clear by China’s “increasingly aggressive, coercive campaign against Taiwan,” such as deploying more ships in its vicinity, crossing the Taiwan Straits centerline with its air assets, and adjusting its flight paths to be closer to the self-governing island. He noted that China had not ruled out the use of force against Taiwan.

He added that he did not think the Taiwanese would capitulate to the campaign.

Earlier, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China’s policy toward Taiwan was to seek peaceful reunification and that Beijing’s “red lines” were very clear, and that Taiwan will “never be allowed to secede from the motherland.”

Taiwan has been governed independently of mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan – a territory with its own elected government – maintains that it is an autonomous country but stops short of declaring independence. Beijing opposes any official contact of foreign states with Taipei and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable.


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