Yesterday, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, Command of U.S. Pacific Command, briefed the Pentagon press corps on the U.S. military’s rebalance to the Asia Pacific. Admiral Locklear spoke specifically to the ongoing territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas, saying, “We call on all the parties there, including the Chinese, to ensure that, as they approach these problems, that they do so in a way that avoids conflict, that avoids miscalculation, that uses the vehicles available today through diplomacy and through those legal forums that allow them to get to reasonable solutions on these without resorting to coercion or conflict.”
Admiral Locklear was also asked about the growing concerns surrounding China’s aircraft carrier. He responded: “My assessment is that if I were China and I was in the economic position that China is in, and I was in a position of where I have to look after my global security interests, I would consider building an aircraft carrier. And I might consider building several aircraft carriers. So the real question is whether we should be concerned with them or not. Like any other country that builds aircraft carriers is whether or not those types of platforms will be successfully integrated into a global security environment that's a peaceful one. And they have a role in maintaining the peaceful global security environment. If the issue is that they are not part of that global security environment, then I think we have to be concerned about them.”
Read the full transcript from the press briefing here.
Photo: Courtesy of Glenn Fawcett and the Department of Defense.