The Straits Times
Published on Sep 01, 2012

US military in Asia 'beneficial', envoy tells China


BEIJING (AFP) - United States (US) envoy to Beijing Gary Locke on Saturday tried to ease China's fears that Washington wants to hem it in by emphasising American military presence in Asia was not targeted at a single country.

"We strongly believe - and I believe most in the region would agree - that our security presence here is beneficial to the countries of the region and necessary for the continued vitality of the Asia-Pacific," Mr Locke said.

"Our security presence is not aimed at any one country," he said in a speech at Peking University, noting that the US was also boosting its diplomatic and economic engagement in the region.

Mr Locke's remarks came days ahead of a planned visit to Beijing by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss the two countries' sometimes tense economic and security relationship.