China has said it has the right to develop islands in the South China Sea because it deems it appropriate and accuses the United States of undermining security at disputed waters.
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu’s Regular Press Conference on March 26, 2006 Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu’s Regular Press Conference on March 26, 2006
The aim of the US military operation in the area was to “create problems and provoke,” Wang said, adding that “it seriously threatens the sovereignty and security of the coastal countries and undermines order and maritime security in the South China Sea.”
Sunday, US Indo-Pacific Commander Adv. John C. Aquilino said China has armed the islands with anti-ship missile systems, laser and jamming equipment and fighter jets, in an increasingly aggressive move that threatens all operating countries. Nearby
Aquilino said the hostile move was in stark contrast to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s past assurances that Beijing would not turn artificial islands of rival waters into military bases. He said the efforts were part of a relaxation of China’s military muscle.
“I think in the last 20 years we have witnessed the largest military build-up by the PRC since World War II,” Aquilino told the Associated Press in an interview, using the initials of China’s official name. “They have improved all their capabilities and the weapons building that is destabilizing the region.”
China claims virtually the entire South China Sea as its own territory, with fish stocks and ocean floor mineral habitats, including sea lanes through which approximately $ 5 trillion worth of world trade travels each year.
China has refused to accept the claims of five other governments on some or all of the waterways issues and has rejected the findings of a UN-backed arbitration tribunal that has overturned China’s explicit historical claims under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Among the seven completely militaryized islands that China has built in recent years are massive damage to the marine environment by piles of sand and concrete on top of coral reefs.