"North Korea remains our most immediate threat, and a missile-capable North Korea with missiles capable of reaching the United States is unacceptable," he said.
However, he added, "China remains our biggest long-term challenge." Without targeted commitment and commitment from the US and our allies and partners, China will realize its dream of hegemony in Asia. "
It's unclear what role Harris played in talks will play with North Korea, leading to a hoped-for summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 1
During his tenure, Harris was always a hawk on North Korea. At Pacific Command, he also addressed warnings to China, as Beijing has taken a more muscular military stance in the Pacific and has established a military presence on artificial islands in areas such as the US and US describe their allies as international waters.
Communicating with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a news conference in Washington on May 23, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called the US decision "The is not helpful. "
"We find that this is a very unconstructive step … It is not very helpful for the mutual understanding between China and the US We hope that the US will change such a negative attitude," he said.
In Hawaii Wednesday, Mattis said, "We should work with Beijing, where we can only be ready to confront them where we need to be."
The admiral and later ambassador also warned his successors to keep Moscow in mind "The Spoiler" in the Indo-Pacific
"In the Indo-Pacific region, there is a geopolitical competition between free and repressive world-order ideas," Harris said.
"The great power contest is back and I believe we are approaching a turning point in history …. Freedom and justice are in balance."