Beijing has expanded its military presence in the South China Sea with the construction of seven new military bases, the head of the US Pacific Command told Congress this week.
“China built reclaimed islands in the South China Sea in the last year, with aircraft suspensions, military barracks and extended runways to the point where China has seven operational bases in the busy international navigation channel,” said the admiral of the American Navy Harry Harris.
Facilities include aircraft hangars, barracks, radar houses, gun emplacements and 10,000-foot tracks, Harris added.
The admiral, who has been appointed by the White House to become the next US ambassador to Australia, explained that China’s army is rapidly catching up with the US. UU «In almost all domains».
Trillions of dollars in commercial goods pass through the South China Sea annually. Many countries, such as China, Brunei, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines, vigorously dispute the islets and certain regions of the waterway.
China’s approach to militarizing islands in the South China Sea has been “coordinated, methodical and strategic,” Harris said, adding that Beijing is “using its military and economic might to erode the free and open international order.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that the growing military presence of the US. UU In the region it can provoke confrontations. “The construction of US military aircraft and the naval presence in this region can provoke, if not intentionally, [a] military dimension of these territorial disputes,” Lavrov said on February 11.
«I think these are very risky games. The United States is already looking not only for North Korea, although it justifies its military presence for the North Korean issue, but also in the South China Sea, where China is in negotiations with the Association. of the countries of South-East Asia (ASEAN) on the settlement of disputed territorial issues “.
Source: News Front