China has continued to harden its positions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India. US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin said, days after a top US Army general expressed alarm over Beijing’s border infrastructure build-up. He also flagged China’s destabilizing military activity near Taiwan and its aggressive approach to the territories it claims in the South China Sea. He said this threatens to undermine the stability of the Indo-Pacific region.
China has also been building bridges and constructing other infrastructure such as roads and residential units in the border areas with India.
Speaking at the Shangri La Dialogue; a security conference organized by the International Institute of Strategic Studies in Singapore. Top Chinese leaders are also present, Austin stated: that they are seeing Beijing continue to harden its position along the border that it shares with India. Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a border standoff in eastern Ladakh since May 5, 2020. When a violent clash between the two sides erupted in the Pangong lake area. China has also been building bridges and constructing other infrastructure such as roads and residential units in the border areas with India.
In the East China Sea, China’s expanding fishing fleet is sparking tensions with its neighbors. In the South China Sea, China is using outposts on man-made islands bristling with advanced weaponry to advance its illegal maritime claims. They are seeing vessels plunder the region’s provisions, operating illegally within the territorial waters of other Indo-Pacific countries. Speaking about India as a partner for the US in the region, Austin said; it can be a stabilizing force, considering its growing military and tech capability. Austin also reiterated America’s commitment to maintaining the status quo in Taiwan. They are seeing growing coercion from Beijing. They have witnessed a steady increase in provocative and destabilizing military activity near Taiwan. The US remains focused on maintaining peace, stability, and the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.