Military chief says US will defend Indo-Pacific freedoms

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — United States Indo-Pacific Command chief Adm. John Aquilino says that Washington does not seek to contain China, nor seek conflicts in the region, but it would take action to support the region against coercion and bullying by authoritarian regimes. Speaking Thursday at a lecture in Singapore, Aquilino said the era of globalization has now evolved into one of renewed power competition where the security environment influences economics, trade and investment. He warns that the rules-based international order is “under direct assault by authoritarian regimes” that use coercion and intimidation, but didn’t name any nations. However, Aquilino said China has a role to play in adhering to the rules-based order, especially concerning North Korea.