Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks has had a lot to say about China. Most recently, Hicks said, “Beijing has the economic, military and technological capability to challenge the international system and America’s interests within it.”
Also adding, “This is happening all along the continuum of conflict — from routine statecraft, through the use of sharp power or gray-zone tactics, to the potential for sustained combat operations and an expanded and capable nuclear enterprise.”
However, Hicks does not believe a military conflict is looming on the horizon. The Deputy Defense Secretary stating that the prospect of engaging in military actions with China is neither “desirable nor inevitable.”
Hicks also emphasized the importance of diplomatic relationships. Furthermore, stating that allies and partner nations are important in “deterring Chinese aggression.”
“Let there be no doubt, China presents a real and enduring challenge,” Hicks clarified. The Pentagon recently confirmed that China now has the largest navy in the world. Senator Wicker (R-MS) going as far as tweeting that China’s Navy will be twice the size of ours by 2030.
Hicks elaborated by highlighting the advancements China has made in both cyber capabilities, and unlawful claims in the South China Sea.
Despite these concerns, she remains optimistic that open channels of communications are they way to move forward. Stating that our military continuing to show our ability to deter China’s aggression is crucial. Furthermore, stating “This will best position us to avoid a conflict.”
What do you think of how the DOD is handling China? Sound off in the comments below!