In Indonesia Visit, Blinken Vows US Will Expand Military Power in Region to Counter China

China denounced Blinken's comments, calls US a 'saboteur'

During a visit to Indonesia, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US would expand military and economic partnerships in Asia to counter China.

In a speech titled “a Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” Blinken outlined the Biden administration’s strategy to counter China, emphasizing strengthening cooperation with regional countries.

“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. “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.”

Even though an increased US military presence in the region makes a conflict with China more likely, Blinken claimed the strategy was meant to preserve peace and to defend the so-called “rules-based order,” which essentially means the US-led global order. He also claimed the US does not want countries to choose between Washington and Beijing but slammed China for what he called “aggressive actions.”

During the visit, Blinken signed three memorandums of understanding with Indonesia’s foreign minister, including the extension until 2026 of a maritime cooperation pact that calls for more naval drills between the US and Indonesia.

China denounced Blinken’s comments and said the US was intentionally stoking conflict in the region. “[The US] should be a promoter of dialogue and cooperation in the region instead of a saboteur that drives wedges between regional countries and undermines regional solidarity and cooperation,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.