- The US seeks a “powerful” quadrilateral partnership with India, Japan and Australia for maintenance of “rules-based order” and deterring coercion or unrestrained national ambitions, a top American commander has said.
- Pacific Command (PACOM) “aims to build a powerful quadrilateral partnership framework of the most powerful democracies” in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, US Pacific Command Commander Admiral Harry B Harris told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing on Thursday.
- USPACOM is evolving key bilateral relationships into multilateral ones that will more effectively address shared security concerns.
- Noting that China has four operational JIN-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and at least one more may enter service by the end of this decade, Harris said when armed, a JIN-class SSBN will give China an important strategic capability that must be countered.
- Given China’s economic rise, the goal may be natural; however, the lack of transparency on its overall strategic intent behind its military investments and activities creates instability and regional anxiety, he said.
- Harris said that China’s military modernisation programme is transforming its forces into a high-tech military to achieve its dream of regional dominance, with growing aspirations of global reach and influence.