2011-04-13 (China Military News cited from indianexpress.com) — Expressing concern over the increasing military might of China in the Asia Pacific region, a top Pentagon commander and several senators have favoured the demand for more counter-balancing US efforts in the region.
“As China was exerting its influence last year in a very assertive way, we were receiving general appeals across the Asia-Pacific from among our partners with regard to a desire for more US influence in the region,” Admiral Robert Willard, Commander, US Pacific Command (PACOM) said.
“Countries in the Asia Pacific region are asking for its influence to counterbalance China as they are being challenged by it,” he said.
But he quickly pointed out that the significant growth of the Asian economy has been mainly due to the economic achievements of China.
Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said that it is important to understand and anticipate the consequences of this Chinese growth on the regional dynamic.
“As China’s influence and military grow, traditional alliances and partnerships in the region may come under pressure from a perception that the balance of power is shifting, and certain countries in the region may find it necessary to grow their militaries as well,” Levin said.
“Some experts even warn of the potential for an emerging arms race in the region and countries leery of China’s intentions for its burgeoning military seek to shore up their own defence,” he said.
“Such developments must be studied and understood if informed decision- making is to proceed in a thoughtful, effective way,” he said.