Washington [US], March 15 (ANI): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called international alliances "force multipliers" for Washington adding that working with allies is "critical" to push back against China's aggression.
Blinken and Austin writing in The Washington Post on Sunday said that they wanted "to lay out why alliances are vital to our national security and how they deliver for the American people."
Citing China's example, the two secretaries said that some countries are seeking to challenge the international order and slammed Beijing for being "all too willing to use coercion to get its way."
"Not all countries share this vision. Some seek to challenge the international order -- that is, the rules, values and institutions that reduce conflict and make cooperation possible among nations. As countries in the region and beyond know, China, in particular, is all too willing to use coercion to get its way. Here again, we see how working with our allies is critical," the Secretaries of State and Defense wrote.
The two secretaries said that the US along with its allies would hold China accountable for its gross human rights violations in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
"Our combined power makes us stronger when we must push back against China's aggression and threats. Together, we will hold China accountable when it abuses human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, systematically erodes autonomy in Hong Kong, undercuts democracy in Taiwan or asserts maritime claims in the South China Sea that violate international law. If we don't act decisively and lead, Beijing will," they wrote.
"That will be our message in Asia this week and throughout the world in the weeks and months ahead," they concluded.
China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
Beijing, on the other hand, has vehemently denied that it is engaged in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang while reports from journalists, NGOs and former detainees have surfaced, highlighting the Chinese Communist Party's brutal crackdown on the ethnic community.
Meanwhile, China imposed the draconian National Security Law in Hong Kong in July, last year, which criminalises secession, subversion, and collusion with foreign forces and carries with it strict prison terms. Since its implementation, several pro-democracy lawmakers have been arrested.
The two secretaries further wrote, "From his first day on the job, President Biden has emphasized America's reengagement with the world, because it's critical for us to meet the global challenges of our time. The United States is now making a big push to revitalize our ties with friends and partners -- both in one-to-one relationships and in multilateral institutions -- and to recommit to our shared goals, values and responsibilities."
The article comes as the first overseas Cabinet-level visits are scheduled for this week to Japan and South Korea.
"Our alliances are what our military calls "force multipliers." We're able to achieve far more with them than we could without them. No country on Earth has a network of alliances and partnerships like ours. It would be a huge strategic error to neglect these relationships," Blinken and Austin wrote.
"It's not only our one-to-one ties that are valuable. We're also focused on revitalizing the relationships between and among our allies. As the president has said, the world is at an inflection point. A fundamental debate is underway about the future -- and whether democracy or autocracy offers the best path forward. It's up to us and other democracies to come together and show the world that we can deliver -- for our people and for each other," they added.
The two secretaries in their opinion article further wrote that the alliances with Japan and South Korea contribute to the US's and the world's "security and prosperity," including when it comes to determining the best response to threats from North Korea, global security issues, climate change, cybersecurity and health security.
"As President Biden has said, the United States will lead with diplomacy, because it's the most effective way to meet the challenges we face today, few of which can be solved by us acting alone," Blinken and Austin stated.
"At the same time, we will maintain the world's most powerful armed forces, because that's a core source of our national -- and collective -- strength. And we will work hard to renew our alliances and ensure they're fit for purpose to address the threats and opportunities of our time," they said.
Austin will be visiting three nations - India, Japan and South Korea in the Indo-Pacific region to discuss the strengthening of existing partnerships and alliances there, read the US Department of Defense release.
In both Japan and Korea, the Secretary of Defence will be accompanied by Blinken during meetings with government officials. (ANI)