mandag 21. mars 2022

China Has Weapons on at Least 3 Islands in South China Sea: U.S Official

China has weapons stationed on at least three of the islands it built in the South China Sea, Admiral John Aquilino told the Associated Press Sunday. Aquilino, the U.S. Indo-Pacific commander, said the artificial islands have been armed with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems, fighter jets and laser and jamming equipment in a display of Chinese military might. "I think over the past 20 years we've witnessed the largest military buildup since World War II by the PRC [People's Republic of China]," Aquilino told the AP. "They have advanced all their capabilities, and that buildup of weaponization is destabilizing to the region."

The South China Sea has been subject to territorial disputes between nations including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, a U.S. think tank. There are an estimated 11 billion barrels of untapped oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the region, and countries began to stake their claims on islands and areas in the South China Sea as early as the 1970s.