US admiral: Taiwan biggest concern in Indo-Pacific

A US senior naval officer nominated to be the next chief of the country's Indo-Pacific Command says the possibility of Chinese military action against Taiwan is the biggest concern for the region.

At a confirmation hearing at the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Admiral John Aquilino said, "the most dangerous concern is that of a military force against Taiwan."

Aquilino said US forces that could respond quickly combined with allies and partners who share the same values would make for a strong position for the deterrence to work.

Republicans are voicing concern that the Biden administration may compromise with China on security issues in exchange for Beijing's cooperation in tackling climate change and other issues.

Aquilino told the hearing that US vessels should continue passing through the Taiwan Strait and carry out other freedom of navigation operations in which US vessels navigate parts of the South China Sea claimed by Beijing.