In a press briefing before the US Department of Defence on Thursday, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, the current commander of the US Pacific Command (USPACOM), stated that the US was positive about a strategic military-to-military relation with India and China in the Asia-Pacific region. Responding to questions on India he opined that there was a positive trajectory of increased relations with the country, adding that "we also had an initiative to try determine how we can do more defence trade with each other, and how to remove barriers on both sides, bureaucratic barriers, that are keeping us from being able to do cooperative military procurement projects together." The Admiral also said that while the US did not have any plans to open new bases in the Asia-Pacific, they were looking for opportunities to help allies in their defence or to assist in case of disasters.
Responding to a question on whether he saw the expanding Chinese military strength as a threat or an opportunity, he said that it was an opportunity "if this opportunity is not realized, as it would be with any growing military, it potentially could become a threat", adding that it would best to approach it as an opportunity.
He also said, noting possibilities of “miscalculations” in the future, that there was dialogue with the Chinese military as regards future situations when the Chinese navy gets larger.
Admiral Locklear however was evasive regarding the subject of US presence in Philippines, which is a point of consternation for China.
Last month, Locklear was part of a team to India led by US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss greater US-Indian co-operation.
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