Tension over the South China Sea highlights the need for the United States to maintain a strong navy to serve as a deterrent, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday, criticizing the Obama administration for proposals he said would reduce the U.S. naval fleet.
"This just shows that we need to have a strong navy," Ryan said at a news briefing. "We should not have a president proposing to lower our ship count to pre World War One levels. This means we need to have a strong military and a strong navy, and a real foreign policy, which we do not now have."
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell, Richard Cowan and Susan Heavey)