New York: Citing China’s recent confrontation with India in Ladakh, US Secretary of State said America would be recalibrating its deployment of forces to counter emerging threats from Beijing.
Mike Pompeo accused China of behaving as a “rogue actor” not just in its own neighborhood, but also in the larger world order.
The threats from China to India and countries in Southeast Asia and the challenges in the South China Sea are going to dictate the allocation of defense resources as US cuts troop levels in Germany, he said at a virtual meeting of the Brussels Forum of the German Marshall Fund.
He said that China’s expansionism is “the challenge of our time” and the US wants to ensure that its resources are in place to meet it.
The force posture review is being done at the direction of President Donald Trump, as part of which the US is reducing the number of its troops in Germany from about 52,000 to 25,000, he said.
Pompeo did not provide specific details of how this defense recaliberation would be done.
His remark came amid ongoing talks between India and China to de-escalate tensions along the Line of Actual Control, after a violent face-off between the armies of the two countries in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley last week.
Earlier, Pompeo had blamed China for the border conflict with India. “The PLA (China’s People’s Liberation Army) has escalated border tensions – we see it today in India… and we watch as it militarizes the South China Sea and illegally claims more territory there,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.