US Defence Secretary Mark Esper, shown at a congressional hearing in Washington on Wednesday, said in a speech on Friday that China had eclipsed Russia to become the top US military priority. Photo: Getty Images via AFP

Pentagon head says China has become top US military priority, moving past Russia

  • US Defence Secretary Mark Esper says Beijing is ‘asserting illegitimate maritime claims’ and ‘threatening its neighbours' sovereignty’ in South China Sea
  • ‘Beijing and Moscow are not only violating the sovereignty of smaller states, they are also attempting to undermine international laws,” he said.
Topic |   South China Sea

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US Defence Secretary Mark Esper, shown at a congressional hearing in Washington on Wednesday, said in a speech on Friday that China had eclipsed Russia to become the top US military priority. Photo: Getty Images via AFP
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Lee Jeong-ho

Lee Jeong-ho

Lee Jeong-ho reports on China's diplomacy for the Post. He also covers East Asian security and defence stories. Before joining the Post he was with the South Korean Air Force and News1 Korea. He has a bachelor's degree in media and communications and Chinese studies from Sydney University and a master's of international studies in Chinese area studies from Seoul National University.