The U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region is growing. And according to a report released by China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies, the trend is not going to change any time soon.
The report shows that since the Obama administration took office in 2009, the U.S. military has been shifting its focus and giving priority to the region.
By 2015, the U.S. had 368,000 military personnel there, more than half of total U.S. troops overseas. And 97,000 are stationed to the west of the International Date Line. The U.S. Department of Defense released the proposed budget request of U.S.$583 billion in 2017, almost the same as in 2016.
The activities of the U.S. military have also been increasing and upgrading. The report says this literally makes China the number one target for U.S. close reconnaissance in terms of frequency, scope and means.
Despite their frictions in the South and East China Seas, this has not interrupted the high-level dialogue mechanisms and important exchange programs between the two countries. China is committed to building a relationship based on the principle of “non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.”