Visiting Australia, US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper have come out against Beijing. While the trade war is raging between the two countries, the head of the Pentagon announced plans to deploy medium-range missiles in Asia, a statement that raises fears of renewed tension.
Accusing Russia of violating it for years, the United States withdrew on Friday the INF disarmament treaty, concluded during the Cold War between Washington and Moscow to completely prohibit intermediate-range land-based missiles (from 500 to 5,500 km).
Washington is now free to compete with China, whose arsenal is largely made up of weapons of the type prohibited by the INF Treaty, which Beijing has never been a signatory.
“We would like to do it as soon as possible,” Esper continued on the plane that brought him to Sydney, the first leg of a week-long tour of Asia. “I would prefer to count in months,” he told reporters who accompanied him on his tour, without indicating where these weapons will be deployed. “These are the kinds of things we always discuss with the allies,” he said.
According to Washington, China destabilizes the Indo-Pacific zone and practices a hegemonic policy in Southeast Asia. Americans rely on their Australian ally to curb Beijing’s influence. Canberra has announced spending up to $ 2 billion to contain China.