In a major policy shift, the United States is avoiding an “either/or” approach to nations that have relationships with China. Instead, the United States is telling Asia-Pacific nations that they do not have to choose between the reigning superpower and the rising one.
Maj. Gen. Michael A. Keltz, USAF, director, strategic planning and policy (J-5), U.S. Pacific Command, told an audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii, that the United States is “having a hard time convincing nations that we don’t want them to choose between the United States and China.” Part of the reason is that China is trying to use its economic clout to force nations to choose China over the United States.
The United States has significant advantages to counter China’s thrust, Gen. Keltz pointed out. Training is one; another is that U.S. equipment is better than its Chinese counterparts. The general related that, in the wake of the recent Cambodian floods, most of the Chinese water vehicles failed, while 95 percent of the fleet of 25-year-old U.S.-built vehicles were operational during the disaster.