Winner-take-all strategy in territorial rows is dangerous, US admiral says

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 May, 2014, 10:28pm
UPDATED : Friday, 23 May, 2014, 10:28pm


The US military's commander in the Pacific called yesterday for compromise in Asia's maritime territorial rows, cautioning against a "winner-take-all" strategy.

Admiral Samuel Locklear said the region had become the world's "most militarised" amid rapid growth, deepening the importance of dialogue to ensure the disputes did not lead to armed conflict.

"What's going to underlie that most importantly is a commitment to the rule of law, a commitment to international forums to solve problems and to solve disputes," Locklear told a World Economic Forum meeting in Manila.

"You can't have a winner-take-all attitude. It will require compromise. It will require dialogue."

Locklear also defended US efforts to build up security alliances in Asia, including with countries having territorial disputes with China, following criticism by President Xi Jinping .

Locklear said these alliances, some going back to the end of the second world war, had "generally underwritten security" in the region.

"Things that we've done here have helped our economy, have helped the global economy and I would say have helped China, as they helped everybody in this region as well," he said.

Xi voiced concern on Wednesday at a Chinese-run security forum in Shanghai over the United States deepening its military alliances in Asia, indicating China felt it was being targeted.