WASHINGTON - Pentagon chief Mark Esper has accused China of destabilizing the Indo-Pacific region after saying the US plans to deploy intermediate-range missiles to Asia “sooner rather than later.”
During a visit to the Australian capital on Sunday, Ester accused Beijing of following a “disturbing pattern of aggressive behavior [and] destabilizing behavior.”
"We firmly believe no one nation can or should dominate the Indo-Pacific and we are working alongside our allies and partners to address the region's pressing security needs,” he told reporters in Sydney.
“This [aggressive behavior] includes weaponizing the global commons, using predatory economics and debt for sovereignty deals, and promoting state-sponsored theft of other nations' intellectual property," Esper charged.
His remarks echoed comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said "decades of bad behavior" from China have hampered free trade.