United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper tweeted Monday that the US would continue to partner with countries in the Indo-Pacific and support Taiwan.
“We continue to build closer relationships with Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Thailand, Australia, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga and other Pacific Island nations. We remain committed to a democratic Taiwan,” Esper said.
In another tweet, Esper shared an op-ed he had written in the Singapore-based Straits Times, titled “US stands with its partners for a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
Esper writes in the op-ed that the US has made great strides in developing military technology that is critical to the Indo-Pacific region and strengthening its relationships with regional allies.
Esper also slammed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its “destabilising behavior in the East and South China Seas.”
The U.S and its allies must “remain vigilant to resist the CCP’s efforts to chip away at the sovereignty of other nations and undermine international rules and norms,” Esper wrote.