US hits out at China's moves in Indo-Pacific, seeks allies in Asia

Published on Dec 14, 2021 09:14 AM IST

In a speech in Indonesia, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington would work with allies and partners to “defend the rules-based order” and countries should have the right to “choose their own path”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks on the Biden administration's Indo-Pacific strategy at the Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta on December 14, 2021. (AFP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks on the Biden administration's Indo-Pacific strategy at the Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta on December 14, 2021. (AFP)
AFP |

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday urged China to cease "aggressive actions" in the Indo-Pacific, speaking during a visit to the region, as Washington seeks to bolster alliances against Beijing's rising might.

In a speech in Indonesia, Blinken said Washington would work with allies and partners to “defend the rules-based order” and countries should have the right to “choose their own path”.

"That's why there is so much concern -- from Northeast Asia to Southeast Asia and from the Mekong River to the Pacific Islands -- about Beijing's aggressive actions. Claiming open seas as their own. Distorting open markets through subsidies to its state-run companies. Denying the exports or revoking deals for countries whose policies it does not agree with,” he said.

“Countries across the region want this behaviour to change – we do too,” he added.

He added that Washington was “determined to ensure freedom of navigation in the South China Sea”, and said Beijing's actions there threaten the movement of more than $3 trillion worth of commerce every year.

China claims almost all of the resource-rich sea, with competing claims from four Southeast Asian states as well as Taiwan.

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