US Navy Secretary’s Call to Form New Indo-Pacific Fleet Riles China

By News18

China said on Thursday that US Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite’s call for the establishment of a new naval fleet at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans is aimed at expanding Washington’s military prowess and defence budgets hyping the “China threat”. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here that “China’s development is an opportunity, not a threat, as it will add to the world’s strength for peace”.

“Some people in the US have got into the habit of hyping up the so-called China threat’, because they need excuses for their expanding military prowess and budget so as to seek regional and global hegemony, he said when asked for his reaction to Braithwaite’s comments. He said the US, which has the largest military expenditure, set up military bases all over the world and had frequently claimed to be threatened by others.

“Can anyone think up a more ridiculous logic? We urge the US to discard the outdated Cold War and zero-sum game mindset, view China’s development in an objective and rational way, and play a constructive role for peace and stability in Asia Pacific, Zhao said. Earlier, Braithwaite called for the US Navy to establish a new numbered fleet closer to the border of the Indian and Pacific Oceans perhaps out of Singapore to more fully address the naval challenges in the US Indo-Pacific Command area of the world, the USNI (US Naval Institute) News reported.

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