How US and Asian democracies can counter China
By U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
December 13, 2017
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America is reaffirming its commitment to securing a free and open Indo-Pacific region amid North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, China's increasingly assertive rise and other challenges. India and Japan, two of our key partners, have increased their security cooperation in response to regional challenges. But Washington must do more to support them and expand the involvement of Australia and other Asian democracies.
Much of the 21st century's history will be written in Asia. The region makes up nearly 60% of the world's population and roughly 40% of global GDP. Home to large and capable militaries, Asia accounts for the majority of the world's eight declared nuclear-armed nations, including North Korea.
Under President Xi Jinping, China is attempting to author its own version of the Indo-Pacific region's history. The People's Liberation Army is expanding and modernizing its military conventional and unconventional capabilities, including its vast arsenal of ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. It is also forcefully asserting Beijing's claims in territorial disputes with neighbors, including in the South China Sea and in the Doklam plateau at the Indo-Chinese border.
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