While deposing in front of a Senate Panel, top American senators and commanders said that China with its “unprecedented military build up and predatory economics” poses the most significant, long-term strategic threat to the United States.
They made the deposition Tuesday while seeking a mechanism to address the challenge from the east Asian nation.
According to a report by the Press Trust of India, China represents the greatest long-term strategic threat to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific and to the United States, said US Indo-Pacific Command chief Adm Philips Davidson, while testifying before the Senate’s Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing.
Through fear and economic pressure, Beijing is working to expand its form of Communist-Socialist ideology in order to bend, break, and replace the existing rules-based international order, he alleged.
In its place, Beijing seeks to create a new international order led by China and with Chinese characteristics — an outcome that displaces the stability and peace of the Indo-Pacific that has endured for over 70 years, he told the Senators.
In remarks that they made over Davidson’s deposition, the Senators too appeared to be on the same page and asked the US Government to take a strong stand on these issues.
China presents the most significant, long-term strategic threat that this country has faced in many, many years. China’s Belt and Road Initiative has left several countries, notably Sri Lanka and Malaysia, severely indebted to China, said Senator Jack Reed, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Beijing, he alleged, often targets corrupt local governments that personally profit from inflated loans that leave their state treasuries bankrupt and beholden to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s administration.
It is an economic initiative with significant national security implications for the United States. Countering Chinese aggression globally requires to rely on our partners and allies to a greater degree in the decades to come, he said.
Davidson told the Senators that the US is working to help ASEAN in this discussion about code of conduct negotiations with China.
China has essentially delivered a draft that dictates to those ASEAN nations when and where and who they would sail with in the South China Sea,” he said.
“Helping them protect the international freedom of the seas and airspace that have been long established in maritime law that the United States and others have fought for over the centuries is quite important, he added.
Senator Tim Kaine said China may seem friendly up front, they may have assets and resources to offer up front, but the terms are overly debt-burdening and nations like Sri Lanka and others have started to appear strained.
Malaysia has canceled projects and basically has criticised China’s way of dealing with them as sort of a new form of colonialism, he said.
Admiral Davidson said China is challenging and threatening the rules-based international order.
It’s not a regional thing for China. It’s a global approach. Anywhere that they can make inroads on that international order, they will take it. They have been moving quite rapidly, he said.
China maneuvers in the information space in a way that undermines everything US does, factually, informationally, everywhere, he told the Senators.