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Pentagon ‘very carefully’, China’s’ No. 1 priority,’ the Minister of defense Mark Esper Fox News tells watch

nearvideo mark Esper, explains loss of U.S. drones over Yemen, the threat posed by Iran, China, Russia

The Minister of defense Mark Esper is with Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin for his first interview since taking over at the Pentagon.

China, the Pentagon’s “number one priority”, and to observe the United States, Beijing is “very carefully” to ensure this, America, Minister of defense Mark Esper, told Fox News in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

In his first interview since he was confirmed as Pentagon chief in July, Esper, told Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin that China has the “largest theft of intellectual property in human history” and the expansion of its military to “push the United States out of the [Indo-Pacific] theater.”

“China is the number one priority for this Department. It is in the National Defense Strategy, why we think it is a long-term strategic competitors, and pursue a maximization of the campaign, if you will, throughout the Indo-Pacific theatre, be it politically, economically or militarily,” he said to Griffin. “You are clearly the professionalization and expansion of the capacities and capabilities of the military, to push the United States out of the theater.”

“You have studied us, and they have learned, how we deal with weapons; they have learned about our teaching,” Esper added. “And so, this is something that we watch very carefully.”

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Esper, a former army Lieutenant Colonel, graduated from West Point in 1986 – in the same class as Secretary of state, Mike Pompeo and spent 10 years on active duty followed by 11 years in the Army National Guard and Reserve. He brings the military, defence and national security experience to the table, and advertises for a “good relationship” with President Trump.

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In his extensive interview, Esper Russia’s nuclear ambitions, the protection of American elections by foreign hackers, denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and Iran, the funding of their “illegal activities also spoke about the deterrence”.

Esper noted what he described as the coming shift of “low-intensity conflict that lasts 18 years,” referring to the war in Afghanistan, “high-intensity conflicts against competitors like Russia and China.”

“This means that the modernization of the force, based with the advanced features A. I., Hyper sonic, robotics, directed energy, and the updating of our teaching — they do all of these things are crucial for us, as a deterrent to conflict in the future,” he said.

Esper described China of intellectual property theft as a “big, big problem.”

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“It is a government organized effort to go after technologies, whether they go defense or non-defense technologies that, themselves against other-all other types of intellectual property and commercial goods,” he explained. “So, it enforcement really requires. And this is where […] I welcome the President to push back against China and all its trade activities, which are outside the boundaries of what should be expected.”

In addition to the protection of intellectual property, Esper said the U.S. needs to modernize its nuclear stockpile.

“Our strategic forces are the key to the deterrence of nuclear war. I think a reliable and strong, capable, a deterrent that’s really what prevents a nuclear war from happening in the first place,” he said.

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Esper took the Russians were “clearly […] trying to expand their strategic nuclear arsenal […] to dealing with the United States.”

“And so, as people talk about a New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty-this is why we say, you see, when it comes to a expansion of a New START, then we need to ensure that we have the […] followed all of these new weapons, Russia,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that his country would develop, in the short – and intermediate-range land-launched nuclear missiles, when they got word of the United States had begun the construction of such weapons.

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“Now,” Esper said, “has Russia’s possible nuclear-tipped […] INF-range cruise missiles trim [Europe] – this is not a good thing.”

When it comes to Russian hackers, Esper said, the United States, see “persistent malicious Russian cyber activity.”

“We are going North to see Korean cyber activity, and Chinese cyber activity,” he continued. “But I want to say, we have exquisite built in capabilities even under the Cyber Command. And I think it is one of the reasons why it is between our skills and the between the authorities granted to the we of President Trump in the last year or so, we had little problems with the 2018 elections.”

“[We] will continue to apply all our skills and all our authorities, to ensure that we are protected in our elections — and that the integrity of our democracy is undeniable,” Esper pointed out.

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The defense Minister also spoke about President Trump suggested Space Force, and why it was necessary – he pointed to Nations such as Russia and China,” probably China,” turning the space into a “military area.”

“Ten years ago, space was a place-the sky we looked down on the earth and found out what the weather was going on in Iowa, or we could survey our opponents,” he explained.

But, since then, China and Russia have made to overtake the U.S. systems in space and threaten not only the U.S. military, but the country, the economy and trade, said Esper.

“We want to develop to be able to, a space, build up strength, the space functions in a coherent […] fashion, but at the same time, a Space Command, which would be responsible for the space-war fighting,” he said.

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The Pentagon chief also told Fox News that he was to the applause of the President, the approach to North Korea, said the diplomacy of the way to achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula “in a comprehensible, complete, and irreversible manner.”

Griffin later Esper, the former Minister of defense of Jim Mattis asked, who resigned from his post in December after disagreements with the President about the possibility of pulling troops out of Syria.

“It was said his red line,” Griffin. “What is your red line?”

“So you, what I said, look my Problem is with a person I had ever worked with, I would never do something that is either illegal, immoral or unethical. And I don’t think the President is going to ask me to do, one of the three,” Esper said.

Griffin also Esper, a moniker that in his West Point Yearbook asked.

“In the chronicle, they call it the force. Why would you call the force?”, she asked. Mattis famously had Wonk the nickname “Mad Dog”, “” “warrior” and “Chaos”.

“Because I was really, really committed to the military service and in the infantry, and a nickname was kind of the name I have said, inherited a couple of friends,” Esper.

Griffin also asked Esper if anything held him up in the night and on the claims by trump that nothing stops him in the night.

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“Is this true for you?” she asked.

“Yes,” Esper answered. “Nothing holds me in the night, because I think that we defended ourselves from the best military in history.”

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