US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses a press conference in Washington Photograph:( AFP )
In a speech outlining the US approach to the Indo-Pacific, 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 said on Tuesday that the US will strengthen its military and economic ties with Asian allies to counter China's growing aggressiveness in the Indo-Pacific.
Blinken stated that the Biden administration is committed to maintaining regional peace and prosperity, and that it will do so by strengthening US alliances, developing new ties, and ensuring that the US military maintains "its competitive advantage."
Blinken urged China to stop "aggressive measures" in the Indo-Pacific, as Washington looks to strengthen allies against Beijing.
"Threats are evolving, our security approach has to evolve with them. To do that, we will lean on our greatest strength: our alliances and partnerships," Blinken said in a speech in Indonesia, outlining the administration’s Indo-Pacific plans.
"We’ll adopt a strategy that more closely weaves together all our instruments of national power – diplomacy, military, intelligence – with those of our allies and partners," he said.
According to him, this will entail connecting US and Asian defence companies, consolidating supply chains, and working on technical innovation.
China claims practically the whole resource-rich South China Sea, with four Southeast Asian states and Taiwan making conflicting claims.
Beijing has been accused of deploying anti-ship and anti-surface-to-air missiles in the area, despite a 2016 international tribunal judgement declaring Beijing's historical claim to most of the waters to be unfounded.
Washington also wants to preserve "peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," according to Blinken.
Tensions between the United States and China have risen over Taiwan, which China claims as its own and has pledged to recapture one day, by force if necessary.
(With inputs from agencies)