mandag 21. mars 2022

China has fully militarized three islands in South China Sea, US admiral says

China has fully militarized at least three of several islands it built in the disputed South China Sea, arming them with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems, laser and jamming equipment and fighter jets in an increasingly aggressive move that threatens all nations operating nearby, a top US military commander said Sunday.

US Indo-Pacific commander Admiral John C Aquilino said the hostile actions were in stark contrast to the Chinese president Xi Jinping’s past assurances that Beijing would not transform the artificial islands in contested waters into military bases. The efforts were part of China’s flexing its military muscle, he said.

“Over the past 20 years we’ve witnessed the largest military buildup since world war two by the PRC,” Aquilino told the Associated Press in an interview, using the initials of China’s formal name. “They have advanced all their capabilities and that buildup of weaponization is destabilizing to the region.”