Why Hillary Clinton fears China’s military build-up
Speaking at the Amundi World Investment Forum on Friday, Hillary Clinton expressed concern that world leaders are not paying enough attention to China’s military build-up and growing political influence in small nations.
“China is engaged in a very significant military build-up. Not only in the build-up of the People’s Liberation Army and the development of a blue water Navy including aircraft carriers, but they are extending throughout the Pacific region and into Africa a number of not just seaports, but military ports,” she said.
“They are building what they call a kind of necklace of military assets.
“They’re also engaging in a lot more aggressive behaviour. They have tried to intercept Australian military planes, they have demonstrated a very aggressive attitude toward American planes in any area that the United States is flying.
“So it’s not just that they’ve been building (militarily) which we have watched for a long time, it’s that they’re becoming more aggressive militarily to try to send a signal I think of their intentions.
“The military behaviour of China is troubling. “
The former U.S. Secretary of State said she believes China’s intention is to become a dominant military force in the Asia Pacific and eventually takeover Taiwan.
She also highlighted increasing activity of the Chinese Government in small island nations in the Pacific Ocean and also in Latin America.
“They’re using diplomacy in a very aggressive and to some extent coercive way.
“They come with financial aid which many of these countries need and deserve… But very often the terms of that aid are very coercive and what China seeks in return for the aid is literally collateral that includes major infrastructure in the country.
“So they will give aid and remember this is often accompanied by and facilitated by corruption – in addition to whatever goes into he bank account of a leader – they will give aid and in return the collateral will be whatever they are seeking.
“I certainly don’t think the U.S. has paid enough attention to the implications of that, nor do I think Europe has because this is a very threatening situation for those countries and eventually for their stability.
“We (the United States) have to be much more focussed on creating different supply chains, not being as dependent upon China as much as all of us were in the past and looking for smart ways… to try to build up a more unified front against Chinese expansion and aggression.”