Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin today called on U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific region to align under a new policy of "integrated deterrence" to address Chinese military activities.
“Integrated deterrence is about using existing capabilities, and building new ones, and deploying them all in new and networked ways, all tailored to a region’s security landscape, and in growing partnership with our friends,” he said during a speech in a Singapore.
“We’re aiming to coordinate better, to network tighter and to innovate faster,” he continued. “And we’re working to ensure that our allies and partners have the capabilities, the capacities and the information that they need.”
Austin cited U.S. cooperation with Japan that resulted in that country’s first-ever firing of a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. He also said Japan and the United States are partnering to deploy new space sensors to “better detect potentially threatening behaviors.”
Austin said the United States is working with Singapore to “enter a new phase in cyber defense cooperation” and extolled that country’s purchase of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
“That’s going to boost our collective capabilities and open up new opportunities for high-end combined training,” he said.
Austin said the United States is also “working with Taiwan to enhance its own capabilities and to increase its readiness to deter threats and coercion” from China.
The defense secretary also criticized China, saying “Beijing’s claim to the vast majority of the South China Sea has no basis in international law.”
Austin also said China’s “unwillingness to resolve disputes peacefully and respect the rule of law isn’t just occurring on the water,” citing Beijing’s “genocide and crimes against humanity” regarding Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.
Still, Austin said the United States does not seek confrontation with China.
“Let me be clear: As secretary, I am committed to pursuing a constructive, stable relationship with China including stronger crisis communications with the People’s Liberation Army,” he said “You know, big powers need to model transparency and communication. And we hope that we can work together with Beijing on common challenges, especially the threat of climate change.”