McCain campaigned in New Hampshire Monday.
DURHAM, New Hampshire (CNN) – Arizona Sen. John McCain told voters at a New Hampshire town hall that he was "concerned" about China's military buildup and that a continued U.S. military presence in Asia was necessary to maintain peace in that region.
"I worry about the fact that there [are] a lot of rumors that they may be building or buying aircraft carriers,” the Republican presidential candidate said Monday in response to a question on U.S-China relations. "That's the ultimate projection of military power, weapon power."
Calling China a "world superpower," McCain emphasized the need to strengthen alliances with its Asian nations.
"There is nothing we can do about” China's growing strength, said McCain. "The question is how they enter the world stage. It bears watching, it bears concern and it argues for strong alliances with the Japanese, with South Korea with other Asian nations in the region for a continued military presence in the region," said McCain.
McCain told reporters later that diplomacy should be emphasized, but that a continued military presence would "give confidence to our allies and friends in the region" and be seen as a message of support.
– CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla