China added missile systems on Spratly Islands in South China Sea

Satellite images of Subi Reef by July 2012 in addition to December 2017. Source: Center for Strategic in addition to International Studies.

Last week, U.S. Navy Adm. Philip Davidson, the expected nominee to replace U.S. Pacific Command Chief Adm. Harry Harris, described China’s increased presence within the South China Sea as “a substantial challenge to U.S. military operations in This specific region.”

In written testimony to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Davidson said the development of China’s forward operating bases within the hotly contested waters appear to be complete.

“The only thing lacking are the deployed forces. Once occupied, China will be able to extend its influence thousands of miles to the south in addition to project power deep into Oceania,” Davidson wrote. “In short, China is actually currently capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

Davidson’s comments echo a steady drumbeat of warnings made by Harris regarding China’s growing strength.

Earlier This specific year, Harris told Congress which Beijing’s impressive military buildup, including its pursuit of hypersonic weapons, could challenge the United States “across almost every domain.”

“While some view China’s actions within the East in addition to South China Seas as opportunistic, I do not. I view them as coordinated, methodical in addition to strategic, using their military in addition to economic power to erode the free in addition to open international order,” Harris told the House Armed Services Committee.

Harris, whom President Donald Trump is actually reportedly set to nominate as U.S. ambassador to South Korea, currently oversees approximately 375,000 military personnel in addition to is actually responsible for defending a theater which spans nearly half of the Earth’s surface.

“Ladies in addition to gentlemen, China’s intent is actually crystal clear. We ignore which at our peril,” Harris said.

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