Cooperative Competition in the Pacific

Adm. Samuel Locklear, speaking at his confirmation hearing to head US Pacific Command, noted that the US relationship with China is broad and one that is “cooperative, but competitive.” The United States is an Asian power today, he noted, as well as a global power. “We have interests in that part of the world. And I believe that the Chinese . . . need to recognize that we do have US national interests there and we have the interests of strong allies there,” he said during his Feb. 9 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. As far as military-to-military ties with the People’s Liberation Army, Locklear believes it’s important that the United States continues pursuit of “productive” relationships in this area. “That’s so we can gain greater clarity and greater transparency as . . . the region evolves,” he said. The United States seeks a secure, stable environment for its allies and partners as well as China so that the region may grow and prosper, added Locklear. (Locklear’s responses to advance questions.) (For more from Locklear, read Modernized Tacair Critical to Forward Presence and Establishing Rule of Law Critical to South China Sea.)