South Asia and Beyond

China To Remain A Challenge: U.S. Defense Secy

“China is currently and will remain our pacing challenge going forward,” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told a Congress subcommittee during a hearing on the budget request for his department. He said a China task force set up by the Biden administration is about to complete its work and will recommend how to focus more efficiently on China by eliminating duplication and creating synergies.

He underscored that “China has no allies. We have many around the world and we have some strong allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region and that gives us greater capacity and greater capability.” He said his recent visit to India was well received.

There are moves now underway to block China’s participation in the Rim of the Pacific exercise, which is the world’s largest international maritime exercise, until Beijing moves to address its genocidal treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang.