US worried about increasing Chinese strategic outreach: US General

US worried about increasing Chinese strategic outreach: US General

China is exploiting its economic leverage to advance its regional political objectives, a top US military commander has said while expressing concern over the PLA’s growing assertiveness in the strategic Asia-Pacific region.

The modernisation of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) emphasises the development of capabilities with the potential to degrade core US military-technological advantages, Gen Paul Selva of the US Air Force said on Tuesday.

“The Chinese have shown their willingness to exploit their economic leverage as a way to advance their regional political objectives,” he said in a written response to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee considering his nomination for reconfirmation as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“As China’s military modernisation continues, the US and its allies and partners will continue to be challenged to balance China’s influence,” Selva, America’s second-highest ranking military officer, said.

Noting that a long-term, sustained presence is critical to demonstrating that America is committed to the Asia-Pacific region, Selva said the US will continue to develop a security network through multilateral partnerships.

“We will continue to develop capabilities to counter China’s improving military capabilities,” he said.