China, which already is a “regional hegemon”, is now aiming to be a “dominant world power”, America’s defence secretary-designate retired Gen Lloyd Austin has told US lawmakers, citing Beijing’s recent “coercive behaviour” in the region and around the globe.
The US and China are currently engaged in a bitter confrontation over various issues, including trade, the origins of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the communist giant’s aggressive military moves in the disputed South China Sea and human rights. “They’re (China) already a regional hegemon and I think their goal is to be a dominant world power.
And they are working across the spectrum to compete with us in a number of areas and it will take a whole of government approach to push back on their efforts in a credible way,” Austin told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Austin to be his defence secretary. If confirmed by the Senate, the 67-year-old retired army general would be the first African-American to lead the Pentagon. Christopher Charles Miller is currently the acting defence secretary.
“Not to say that we won’t see things down the road that are in our best interest that we can cooperate with China on.