1. SOUNDBITE (English) Admiral Scott H. Swift, US Pacific Fleet Commander:
"It's becoming increasingly clear that a contest is underway in the most vulnerable waters of the Indo-Asia Pacific. As mentioned earlier, on one side, there's a potential return of might makes right after more than 70 years of stability. On the other, there's a continuum of international rules-based system that has served us so well with limitless potential to continuing to do so."
++SOTS SEPARATED BY WHITE FLASH++
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Admiral Scott H. Swift, US Pacific Fleet Commander:
"Attempts to justify these activities at sea are often based on channelling nationalistic history outward, the sort of thing that make stoke patriotism at home but has no place among responsible nations in international waters."
3. American servicemen and others listening
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Admiral Scott H. Swift, US Pacific Fleet Commander:
"The implications are far beyond the scope of anything that's military in nature. It's much broader than that."
A US Navy commander warned on Wednesday that if the United States lost access to international waters claimed by China in the South China Sea, it would have far-reaching implications beyond military ones.
US Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Scott H. Swift told a conference on Indo-Pacific maritime security in Canberra that sailing warships in freedom of navigation operations through contested areas where multiple countries have competing territorial claims was "not a naval issue."
He said the issue was the impact on the global economy and international law, but he also stated that the United States has no expectation that such a loss of access would ever occur.
The US Navy has angered China by sending warships close to artificial islands built by Beijing that include airstrips and radar stations.
The US lays no claims to the waters, but says it has an interest in ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight and peaceful resolution of ownership disputes.
Swift said there was a "palpable sense" that an attitude of "might makes right" was returning to the region after 70 years of security and stability since World War II
While the United States was increasing its military presence in the region as part of its pivot to Asia, Swift said there was no need for more US naval facilities in countries such as Australia.
Australia is increasing its defence ties with the United States, its most important strategic ally, as tensions and a military build-up mount in the South China Sea.