U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States is preparing for new "security challenges," not a Cold War, in the Asian Pacific region.
In a speech to naval cadets in Annapolis, Maryland, Clinton said the United States was repositioning forces in the region "to meet an increasingly diverse set of security challenges."
"We are sending Marines to Australia for joint training. The first six-month rotational deployment arrived in Darwin last week. We are deploying state-of-the-art ships to Singapore. We are modernizing our basing arrangements with allies in northeast Asia," Clinton explained.
"We're also working hard to reduce the risk of miscalculation or miscues between the American and Chinese militaries and to try to forge a durable military-to-military relationship," she added.
Clinton denied the United States wanted to halt China's rise as an emerging power, bringing Beijing into a "rigged system" bent on preserving U.S. power and privilege.
Clinton said a new Cold War was not imminent in Asia and pointed to growing ties -- and not only economic -- between Washington and Beijing.
"Today's China is not the Soviet Union. We are not on the brink of a new Cold War in Asia," Clinton said. "Just look at the ever expanding trade between our economies, the connections between our peoples, the ongoing consultations between our governments. In less than 35 years, we've gone from being two nations with hardly any ties to speak of, to being thoroughly, inescapably, interdependent," Clinton said.
Clinton conceded that many Americans faced "difficult" economic times but said that there was "simply no substitute" for the United States in the world.
Clinton rejected any notion of U.S. decline and pointed to its strong military, leading universities, and innovative companies that still made the country "exceptional."
With reporting by Reuters and AFP