The Obama administration’s ballyhooed military “pivot” to Asia is running into some frank talk from the top U.S. commander in the Pacific.

Three years after the Pentagon said it was de-emphasizing Europe in favor of the Asia-Pacific region, NavyAdm. Samuel J. Locklear III said this week that U.S. dominance has weakened in the shadow of a more aggressive China.

“Our historic dominance that most of us in this room have enjoyed is diminishing, no question,” Adm. Locklear, chief of U.S. Pacific Command, said Wednesday at a naval conference in Virginia.

Although Adm. Locklear said it is obvious that Chinese military power is growing, he suggested that it is unclear whether China will seek to be a hard adversary to the U.S. in the long term, so Washington should be working overtime on steering Beijing toward a cooperative security posture.

“China is going to rise, we all know that,” Adm. Locklear said, as reported by Defense News, which included several quotes from his speech at the annual Surface Navy Association meeting.

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