The head of US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) on Friday sounded the alarm on China and Russia’s growing cooperation, calling it “extremely dangerous” and accused Beijing of “the largest military buildup” since World War II.
Adm. John Aquilino said China’s actions mean the US should spend more money on building up Guam’s defenses. INDOPACOM is seeking additional funds for a program known as the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, and part of the plan is to buildup US military facilities in Guam.
“Guam has a 360-degree threat, so our ability to defend it and to be able to operate from there is absolutely critical,” Aquilino said at an event hosted by the hawkish Foundation for the Defense of Democracies think tank. “I won’t have any timeline so I could see a continuous improvement and a continuous threat, and what that leads me to do is to move with a sense of urgency.”
China has been identified by the Pentagon as the top “threat” facing the US military and is used to justify massive military spending. The US is planning a military buildup in the Asia Pacific with a focus on alliance-building, meaning China could face a similar situation as Russia has with NATO expansion in Eastern Europe.
Facing similar pressure from the West, Russia and China have boosted military and economic ties in recent years. The two countries recently declared there are “no limits” to their partnership.
Aquilino said the “most concerning” aspect of the war in Ukraine is that “the People’s Republic of China has declared a no-limits policy in support of Russia and what that means to both the Indo-Pacific and the globe.”
“If those two nations were to truly demonstrate and deliver a no-limits policy, I think what that means is we’re currently in an extremely dangerous time and place in the history of humanity if that were to come true,” he added.
The US has accused China of planning to support Russia militarily in its war in Ukraine, but there was no evidence for the claim, and Beijing has repeatedly denied the accusation. China has significantly stepped up its import of Russian oil, more than making up for the decline in purchases from the US and its allies.