“China could still have a cooperative relationship with the United States. It is in China’s interests to do so: no country has benefited more from the regional and global order than China, which has seen hundreds of millions lifted from poverty to increasing prosperity,” United States Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan said at the IISS Shari-La Dialogue 2019 in Singapore on June 1.
He said that US cooperates with China where we have an alignment of interests, from military-to-military dialogue to develop risk reduction measures, to tackling transnational threats such as counterpiracy, to enforcing UN sanctions on North Korea.
“And we compete with China where we must. But competition does not mean conflict. Competition is not to be feared. We should welcome it, provided that everyone plays by internationally established rules,” he added.
Shanahan noted that “China can and should have a cooperative relationship with the rest of the region, too. But behavior that erodes other nations’ sovereignty and sows distrust of China’s intentions must end.”
“Until it does, we stand against a myopic, narrow, and parochial vision of the future, and we stand for the free and open order that has benefitted us all—including China.,” he said.