China has deployed electronic attack systems and other military facilities on disputed islands in the South China Sea and is now capable of controlling the strategic waterway, according to the admiral slated to be the next Pacific Command chief.
Additionally, the command nominee Adm. Philip Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee in a written statement this week that the military urgently needs hypersonic and other advanced weaponry to defeat China’s People’s Liberation Army in a future conflict.
The militarization contradicts a promise from Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping not to militarize the South China Sea that is used as a waterway transit for an estimated $5.3 trillion in goods annually.
«These actions stand in direct contrast to the assertion that President Xi made in 2015 in the Rose Garden when he commented that Beijing had no intent to militarize the South China Sea,» Davidson said.
«Today these forward operating bases appear complete. The only thing lacking are the deployed forces.»
The occupied islands will permit China to extend its influence thousands of miles southward and project power deep into the Oceania.
«The PLA will be able to use these bases to challenge U.S. presence in the region, and any forces deployed to the islands would easily overwhelm the military forces of any other South China Sea-claimants,» Davidson said. «In short, China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.»
- Bloomberg’s artikkel: China Builds Artificial Islands in South China Sea
- Breitbart: China Places Surface-to-Air Missiles on South China Sea Islands
- FoxNews: China conducts air force drills again in disputed South China Sea
- TheGuardian: How China’s artificial islands led to tension in the South China Sea
- CNN: China installs weapons on contested South China Sea islands, report says
- Wikipedia: Sørkinahavet