China is pursuing its hegemonic interests in the waters of the South China Sea.
Reportedly, the country has militarized three islands in the disputed waters and is eyeing to further these ambitions in the near future.
China is Militarizing the South China Sea
By arming island fighter jets and jamming systems, China is threatening the sovereignty of every nation in the vicinity of that region.
Not only this, but China is also pursuing anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems in the islands to eliminate any sort of competition.
According to commander Adm. John C. Aquilino, China promised other nations it would not populate the islands militarily. However, now the South Asian giant is not walking the walk.
While giving an interview to the Associated Press, the general noted China is involved in the largest military build-up since the end of World War II. Not only this, but the weaponization by China is also impacting the stability of the whole region.
No Chinese military official responded to the request from the Associated Press to comment on the matter.
Over time, China has maintained all of its military capabilities are for defensive purposes, but its autocratic ambitions regarding its neighbors like Taiwan suggest otherwise.
US admiral says China fully militarized isles in South China Sea https://t.co/M3q4Rs4OYI
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 20, 2022
Currently, China holds the world’s second-largest military budget, just below the United States.
However, it is increasing its military might at an unprecedented rate. The latest additions in Chinese military inventory include hypersonic missiles, J-20 Stellar fighter jets, and some modern-day aircraft carriers.
Since the start of the conflict in the South China Sea, China maintained the United States should stop its so-called freedom of navigation operations.
Though America has been assertive in flying airplanes over the disputed waters, citing it has the authority to do so under international law.
Chinese Jets Threaten Americans While Crossing South China Sea
Aquilino was speaking to the Associated Press while he was in an aircraft crossing the South China Sea.
During the interview, the plane was repeatedly warned by China it was crossing Chinese territory.
According to the message delivered to the plane, Aquilino aircraft should stay away from Spratly island, as it belongs to China.
However, the U.S. plane kept on ignoring the warnings as they were against the U.S. official approach.
Reportedly, when the U.S. plane was flying over the South China Sea, some Chinese jets came too close to American aircraft; they performed dangerous maneuvers to detract American jets.
During the call between Xi and Biden, China sent an entire carrier fleet thru the South China Sea to mock the USA and show military strength thru Biden's weakness. pic.twitter.com/mWk4WkYMuI
— John M. Cameron (@johnrockshomes) March 19, 2022
The only rationale for occupying islands in the South China Sea is to expand the offensive capability of President Xi Jinping that is needed to achieve Chinese foreign policy goals.
As the South China Sea is the busiest ocean in the world with respect to trade, its importance has increased manifold in recent years.
Some of the other countries, including Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, and Vietnam, also claimed they own a part of the sea, but China claims the sea in its entirety.