SINGAPORE – Think of him as the good cop forced to turn bad cop in the interests of his nation. In the days he worked for The Boeing Company, Acting US Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan would often take people into the company’s manufacturing facilities outside Seattle and point out, proudly, that one in three of the aircraft tails taking shape bore Chinese livery. These days, his job is not to highlight the economic prospects of the China market but to call out Asia’s dominant power for its assertiveness and global ambitions, and point to the potential hazards of allowing this to go unchecked. This is what Mr Shanahan did on Saturday (June 1) at the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the region’s premier security conference. “When a country makes a pledge and does not follow it, you should worry. When that same country makes no pledge… You should really worry,” he told the overflow audience. Both at the conference and in a report on the US Indo-Pacific Strategy simultaneously released to the media, the US laid out its own vision for the Indo-Pacific – one where it stands against nations that employ… Read full this story
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