US not seeking to create Asian NATO: Pentagon chief

TEHRAN, Jun. 12 (MNA) – The US Secretary of Defense said that his country is not seeking confrontation or conflict and a new Cold War, an Asian NATO, or a region split into hostile blocs.

Washington is not seeking to create an “Asian NATO” or stir up confrontation in the Indo-Pacific region, but rather is focused on maintaining stability, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Saturday.

In a keynote speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s top security conference, Austin said, “the stakes are especially stark in the Taiwan Strait.” This comes amid multiple warnings from China against US military cooperation with Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be part of its territory.

Austin stressed that Washington’s policy regarding Taiwan remains unchanged – the US is committed to the One-China policy, RT reported.

While believing any “cross-strait differences must be resolved by peaceful means,” Austin stated that the US would continue to assist Taiwan “in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability.”

Austin claimed that amid “growing coercion” from China and its “provocative and destabilizing military activity near Taiwan,” the US remains focused on “maintaining peace, stability, and the status quo across the Taiwan Strait”.

"So let me be clear. We do not seek confrontation or conflict. And we do not seek a new Cold War, an Asian NATO, or a region split into hostile blocs," he said.


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