The warnings from the U.S. side have been rife: From top American military officers to senior White House officials, the message out of Washington is one of deep concern that the Chinese military has become significantly more aggressive in Asia, and that it is “only a matter of time” before a major incident or accident involving the U.S. occurs.

The latest entreaty came Tuesday, with the Pentagon’s top Asia official claiming Beijing has been “combining its growing military power with greater willingness to take risks.”

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner pointed to a sharp increase in “unsafe and unprofessional behavior” by Chinese military ships and aircraft targeting not only the U.S. but also allied forces operating in the region.