Published On: Thu, Aug 22nd, 2019

China warned crackdown on Beijing supremacy ‘no1 priority’ of US – ‘Watching carefully’ | World | News


US Defence Secretary Mark Esper told Fox News in his first interview since he became Pentagon chief in July that China has committed the “greatest theft of intellectual property in human history”. He added, in reference to Indo-Pacific territory, that Beijing is also expanding its military to “push the United States out of the theatre”. He said: “China is the number one priority for this department. It’s outlined in the National Defence Strategy, why we think it’s a long-term strategic competitor and one that is pursuing a maximisation campaign, if you will, throughout the Indo-Pacific Theatre, whether it’s politically, economically, or militarily.

“They are clearly professionalising and expanding the capacity and capabilities of the military in order to push the United States out of that theatre.”

He added: “They’ve studied us, and they’ve learned about how we employ weapons; they’ve learned about our doctrine.

“And so, that is something that we watch very carefully.”

In a broad interview, he also spoke about deterring Russia and their nuclear ambitions, protecting US elections from hackers and denuclearising the Korean Peninsula as well as Iran.

He also referred to the shift from “low-intensity conflict that lasts 18 years” in a reference to Afghanistan to “high-intensity conflicts against competitors such as Russia and China”.

He said: “That means modernising the force with advanced capabilities, A.I.-based, hypersonics, robotics, directed energy and updating our doctrine – doing all those things will be critical for us to deter a conflict in the future.”

He then said China’s theft of intellectual property is a “big, big problem”.

He warned: “It’s a state-run organised effort to go after technologies, whether they are defence or non-defence technologies, to go up against other – all other types of intellectual property, even commercial goods.

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Two warships from the US sailed through the hotly disputed area in May and two B-52H also from Washington flew over the waters in March, two months before.

Last week, President Trump secured a mammoth $8billion (£6.6billion) arms deal with Taiwan in what is a major blow to China’s dominance in the South China Sea.

The deal for the F-16 fighter jet is likely to increase tensions between Beijing and Washington as the two continue their trade war.

In a statement, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying warned Washington over any trade deal.

Ms Chunying stated that the US would “bear all the consequences” in a devastating response.

Under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s nine-dash line, Beijing has looked to increase its control over the region.



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