Media reports have called attention to mock-ups of U.S. aircraft carriers the Chinese have built in the desert, presumably to train their own military for confrontation with the U.S. Navy.
But the Defense Department is, instead, focused on its own preparation and readiness and current Chinese behavior with neighbors in the Indo-Pacific region.
“What we’re concerned about … is the increasing intimidation and coercive behavior of the Chinese military in the Indo-Pacific and also the coercive tactics they’re using, even using economic tools around the world to bend other nations to their will or to their view of what’s in their best interest,” Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said during a briefing today at the Pentagon.
“The US supports a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” Kirby said, saying also that the US is going to continue to work with allies and partners toward that end.
“You’ve heard the secretary talk about this many times — he holds [China] as our No. 1 pacing challenge,” Kirby said. “What I can tell you is we’re focused on developing the capabilities, the operational concepts, making sure we have the resources and the right strategy in place so that we can deal with the PRC as the No. 1 pacing challenge.”