China, which is currently and will remain America’s pacing challenge going forward, has no allies, while the United States has many allies around the world, which gives it greater capacity and greater capability, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers on Thursday.
“China is currently and will remain our pacing challenge going forward,” Austin told the members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense during a hearing on the fiscal 2022 Budget Request for the Defense Department.
The Biden administration, he said, has established the China task force that is about to complete its work and will inform about its efforts going forward and help them create synergies, eliminate duplication and more efficiently focus on the China challenge, he said.
“China has no allies. We have many allies around the world. And we certainly have some strong allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region. And that gives us greater capacity and greater capability,” Austin said responding to questions from the lawmakers.
“You have seen that we very recently began trying to strengthen those alliances as I made my first overseas trip, along with Secretary Blinken, to the Indo-Pacific region and I think it was a very well-received trip,” he said, referring to his recent visit to India.