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"That's Concerning": US Indo-Pacific Commander Warns China Becoming More Aggressive As Economic Recovery "Failing" 
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“That’s Concerning”: US Indo-Pacific Commander Warns China Becoming More Aggressive As Economic Recovery “Failing” 

One of the biggest questions of our time is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. It seems that, in the short term, the US will likely avoid direct conflict with China, but in the long term, there will be a slow march toward conflict in the Indo-Pacific region. 

On Tuesday, Admiral John Aquilino, the head of the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), told reporters in Tokyo that China has become increasingly aggressive across Asia. 

“We all need to understand that it’s moving very fast,” Aquilino said, as quoted by Bloomberg

He said, “The buildup of military power despite a bad economy, the increased narrative of all things inside the 10-dash line are Chinese sovereign territory, then the actions that are going toward enforcement.”

After serving three years as the head of INDOPACOM, Aquilino will step down. He oversees 380,000 soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, guardians, Coast Guardsmen, and Department of Defense civilians. 

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He warned about rising tensions near the Second Thomas Shoal, where the Philippines has held the line since World War II. A recent incident of Chinese vessels using water cannons to block Philippine military vessels has been an ominous sign for some military observers. 

Aquilino also spoke about China’s economy, indicating the world’s second-largest economy “has drastically been reduced” because of a “real-estate market crash.”

“You go ask any economist if the Chinese are going to deliver 5.3% growth, and they will tell you, ‘No way,'” Aquilino said.

Aquilino also called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s regime “disgusting” for spending large sums of money on the military while a food shortage ripples through the country. 

Aquilino’s comment comes days before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to China. He is expected to convey Washington’s “deep concerns” about Beijing’s support for Russia’s defense industrial base.

“We’re prepared to take steps when we believe necessary against firms that … severely undermine security in both Ukraine and Europe,” Blinken told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s trip. 

David Asher, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, commented on Aquilino’s remarks by stating:

“Admiral Aquilino has been a forward-thinking, leaning, and acting US Combatant Commander in the Indo-Pacific. But the facts on the ground and sea have been allowed to strategically favor Communist China which has fortified coral reefs and atolls across the South China Sea and fan its naval forces across the region from the seas surrounding Japan to Taiwan to the Philippines and Vietnam. 

“China’s relentless expansionism has been largely unopposed. Beijing cannot be allowed to continue its expansionist wave. It’s time for the US, Japan, and Australia to link up and provide active protection to the Philippines and start to begin freedom of navigation missions to Taiwan. Incoming Commander Admiral Sam Paparo will have a lot on his plate.” 

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and soaring turmoil in the Middle East, including Israel and Iran, with risks of conflicts flaring up in the Indo-Pacific region, are all confirmations that a multipolar world has emerged. 

That said, we have noted that defense spending worldwide has surged, pushing the defense industry into a bull market:

There’s a bull market in global defense stocks. 

The multipolar world will only bring more chaos and destruction. 

Tyler Durden
Tue, 04/23/2024 – 22:45

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