The US military "will continue to stand strong" in relationship to a conflict between India and China or anywhere else, a top White House official said on Monday, after the US Navy deployed two aircraft carriers in the South China Sea to boost its presence in the region.
"The message is clear. We're not going to stand by and let China or anyone else take the reins in terms of being the most powerful, dominant force, whether it's in that region or over here," White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox News.
"And the message is clear. Our military might stands strong and will continue to stand strong, whether it's in relationship to a conflict between India and China or anywhere else," Meadows said in response to a question.
He was told that India had banned Chinese apps because Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese troops last month that asked what is the mission of the two aircraft carriers that have set sail -- the ‘Ronald Reagan’ and the ‘Nimitz’ -- and what's the America's mission.
"Our mission is to make sure that the world knows that we still have the preeminent fighting force on the face of the globe," Meadows said.
President Donald Trump has invested more in the US military, more in not only the hardware, but the men and women who serve so sacrificially each and every day, he said. "He (Trump) continues to do so," he added.
China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Beijing has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. Both areas are stated to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources and are vital to global trade.
China claims almost all of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the area.
Appearing on the same Fox News on Monday talk show with host Brian Kilmeade, influential Republican Senator Tom Cotton said that the US aircraft carriers are headed to the South China Sea to thwart off any Chinese misadventure against Taiwan or other countries in the region.