Geee Posted August 22, 2015 Share Posted August 22, 2015 Free Beacon: China has expanded construction of manmade islands in the South China Sea to a total of nearly 3,000 acres and is taking steps to militarize the islands for power projection capabilities, according to a Pentagon study made public Friday. The report, “Asia-Pacific Maritime Strategy,” is the Obama administration’s first dedicated study of the increasing destabilization of a vital economic waterway that China is claiming as its maritime domain. “The infrastructure China appears to be building would enable it to establish a more robust power projection presence into the South China Sea,” the 40-page report says. “Its latest land reclamation and construction will also allow it to berth deeper draft ships at outposts; expand its law enforcement and naval presence farther south into the South China Sea; and potentially operate aircraft—possibly as a divert airstrip for carrier-based aircraft—that could enable China to conduct sustained operations with aircraft carriers in the area.” Several groups of islands in the South China Sea are claimed by China, Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Philippines. They include the Paracels in the northwestern part and the Spratlys in the southeast. The South China Sea boasts maritime trade of about $1.2 trillion annually in ship-borne goods bound for the United States. The report called China’s efforts “destabilizing.” Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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