US President Joe Biden says he wants deeper ties with the coast guards of nations in the Indo-Pacific region to counter China and other nations that seek to challenge maritime order.
Biden spoke at a commencement ceremony at the US Coast Guard Academy in the US eastern state of Connecticut on Wednesday.
He said the United States is increasingly seeing rules at sea "challenged, both by the rapid advance of technology and the disruptive actions of nations like China and Russia."
He also said the US Coast Guard has reached agreement to partner with Taiwan.
He added that the United States sent a patrol ship to waters near the Galapagos Islands last year to deter a fleet of Chinese fishing boats operating in the area.
Biden said, "The Coast Guard will be an increasingly central element in our engagement in the Indo-Pacific to protect lives, to preserve the environment, to safeguard sovereignty throughout the region." He noted that Washington is fielding requests from other nations in the region that are eager to partner with the US Coast Guard.
The US Coast Guard has deployed a new type of vessel in Guam and sent patrol vessels in the western Pacific to counter China's increasing maritime presence.
Biden also said, "The Coast Guard is rapidly growing in strategic importance" in the Arctic. He pointed out that every country should respect international norms.