Michael Pillsbury, a Pentagon consultant on China, said recently that the U.S. strategy of “hedging” against an emerging military threat from Beijing by building up U.S. forces in the Pacific likely will continue whoever is elected president in November, The Washington Times reported Friday.

Pillsbury made the comments during a panel discussion at a Jane’s U.S. Defense Conference, the paper wrote.

The hedge strategy, the Times quotes Pillsbury as saying, remains below the public radar, however, with Bush administration officials saying it is not directed at China. However, so far none of the current presidential candidates has sought to repudiate the strategy, he said.

Pillsbury quoted a senior Navy civilian as saying the new Pacific game plan is needed because “hope is not a strategy,” meaning the hope that China’s rise will be peaceful, the Times reported.

The hedge strategy is the Pentagon’s grand design to beef up military forces in the Pacific and upgrade alliances in the region to be ready to counter China, which is rapidly deploying advanced nuclear and conventional missiles, submarines and other naval forces and more mobile ground forces, but will not disclose the extent or target of the decadeslong buildup, the paper reported.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now