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US Admiral: If there were a warlike conflict in the South China Sea the US and its allies would have the upper hand!

U.S. Indo-Pacific Chief Paparo Commits to Strengthening Deterrence Amidst Rising Beijing Military Capabilities

Adm. Samuel Paparo, the head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, emphasized the need to bolster deterrence as China continues to enhance its military capabilities. Speaking with the newspaper Nikkei in Tokyo on May 29, Paparo noted that China’s recent military exercises around Taiwan appeared to be a “rehearsal” for an invasion. He underscored the importance of solidarity among the U.S., Japan, and their partners to counter Beijing’s growing threat.

Paparo, who assumed his role in early May, oversees the daily operations of U.S. joint forces in the Indo-Pacific region. He revealed that the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command closely monitored and analyzed the Chinese drills around Taiwan. “We watched it. We took note. We learned from it,” Paparo said, adding that these exercises help the U.S. prepare for future contingencies.

The large-scale drills occurred shortly after Taiwan’s new President Lai Ching-te took office. When questioned about the potential for a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, Paparo stressed the significance of China’s self-assessments and warned that Beijing is rapidly building its capabilities.

Citing the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, which mandates U.S. support for Taiwan’s self-defense, Paparo affirmed his commitment to readiness. “The U.S. government charges me with being ready today, tomorrow, next month, and next year,” he said.

Paparo expressed confidence that the U.S. and its allies would “prevail in a conflict” if hostilities broke out. He highlighted the U.S. strategy of “integrated deterrence” with allies and described the U.S.-Japan alliance as “the most important alliance on the planet.” He praised the seamless operational capability between U.S. and Japanese forces, noting their ability to operate together tactically.

Japan plans to establish a joint operations command within its Self-Defense Forces by March 2025 to enhance coordination and expedite decision-making with the U.S. military, facilitating joint operations.

Addressing the situation in the South China Sea, where Chinese ships have harassed Philippine vessels, Paparo affirmed U.S. readiness to support its treaty ally, the Philippines. He also mentioned that the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany are contributing to deterrence efforts in the region by dispatching vessels.

The post is based on the content of an article in the newspaper “Asia Nikkei”

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