The Epoch Times
The Navy is “not in search of conflict” as it continues Freedom of Navigation Operations in the South China Sea at a record pace, according to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said he hopes to visit his counterpart in China by the end of the year.
In his speech on July 22, Esper outlined the U.S. vision for security in the Indo-pacific region.
He said that appetite for multilateral cooperation in the region had grown since the pandemic, and following the recent uptick in Chinese aggression in the region.
Strengthening partnerships in the region is one of three key U.S. strategic goals in the Indopacific, said Esper. The other two are to push back against China’s bullying and coercion of smaller nations and to ensure that ships and planes are