Describing China as the disruptive force in the Indo-Pacific, Commander of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, Jr. said all like-minded countries in the region should come together to ensure peace and stability in the region.
Participating in the panel discussion on 'Unchartered waters: In search for Order in the Indo-Pacific' on the second day of the Raisina Dialogue on Thursday, Admiral Harris counted North Korea and terrorism as other threats in the region besides China.
The Raisina Dialogue 2018, themed on 'Managing Disruptive Transitions', is being organized by Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.
He said the countries need to take tough decisions to keep the region safe and open.
Answering a question from a Chinese participant, Admiral Harris said he has no issues in engaging China too if it is interested in keeping the region peaceful, safe and open.
India's navy chief, Admiral Sunil Lanba, also said the region is facing a deficiency of trust and fear of insecurity and hence there is need for developing trust between countries in the region and transparent inter-operability.
He said there is a change in the deployment of PLA Navy since 2008 though there is no evidence of military purposes in its deployment.
Japan's Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano said it is very difficult to change China's aggressive policy which would make it isolated soon. He said China violated international rules in East China Sea and South China Sea.
Australia's Vice Admiral Tim Barret said there needs to be a meaningful outcome from discussions among like-minded nations to take on China.
Agreeing that there is a trust deficiency, Indonesia's strategic expert, Mr Dino Patti Djalal, said there is a poverty of ideas on how to work together to ensure peace and stability in the region, and there is a need for new leadership.