U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, released a statement this week saying he is concerned about China’s increasing militarization.
McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said the Asian nation thinks it can take advantage of economic uncertainty in the West to ramp up, potentially jeopardizing security in the Pacific region.
McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made the remarks in response to Wednesday’s release of a Pentagon report on China’s military and security developments.
McKeon termed the report “a critical tool for members of Congress to understand the People’s Republic of China’s increasingly aggressive military modernization plan.”
“Two things stand out,” McKeon said in the statement. “First, Beijing’s increasing assertiveness and military capabilities, particularly China’s ability to deny access to the western Pacific, is of growing concern not only to the United States but to China’s neighbors, leading to changes in the military posture of regional actors. This has significant consequences for the security and stability of the region.
“Second, China clearly believes that it can capitalize on the global financial crisis, using the United States’ economic uncertainty as a window of opportunity to strengthen China’s economic, diplomatic, and security interests. Therefore, security in the Pacific could be further jeopardized if our regional allies also come to believe that the United States will sacrifice the presence and capability of the U.S. military in an attempt to control spending.
“This is an unacceptable outcome in such a vital region of the globe,” McKeon said.