South China Sea Dispute: China Conquers 3200 Acres Of Land – Pentagon
Despite opposition from different countries including the United States, it appears that China is determined to push its territorial ambitions. According to new reports, Beijing’s militarization of islands in the disputed region is already at an alarming rate with around 3200 acres already reclaimed. Will China start a war soon?Advertisement
South China Sea is a hot commodity that has prompted tensions all throughout the Asia Pacific. While China has been enforcing its historical rights over the disputed regions, it appears that the country has shifted focus and has started weaponizing the islands. This will give the country greater control over the maritime region without the necessary armed conflict.
A new Pentagon report noted China’s militarization activities in the region is already at an alarming rate. Furthermore he Defense Department also revealed that three of the land features in the Spratly Islands are now equipped with large ports and 10,000-foot runways. Some are still in various stages of construction.
According to the report, while China’s activities will not enforce its rights over the regions, it will give the country greater capabilities in deterring other activities of other claimants.
“This would improve China’s ability to detect and challenge activities by rival claimants or third parties, widen the range of capabilities available to China, and reduce the time required to deploy them,” the report claimed which was consequently released on May 13.
“China is using coercive tactics short of armed conflict, such as the use of law enforcement vessels to enforce maritime claims, to advance their interests in ways that are calculated to fall below the threshold of provoking conflict,” it added.
According to Fox News, Pentagon did not release the exact details of the extent of the reclamation as the acres counted only represented the land reclaimed in the Spratly region. They do not include the lands reclaimed in Paracels and Woody Island.
“China’s increasingly assertive efforts to advance its national sovereignty and territorial claims, its forceful rhetoric, and lack of transparency about its growing military capabilities and strategic decision-making continue to raise tensions and have caused countries in the region to enhance their ties to the United States,” the report said reiterating what Defense Secretary Ash Carter previously claimed. The provocation can only improve relations between US and other Asian countries in the region, all against China.