The head of U.S. Fleet Forces Command told lawmakers that China has become powerful enough to enforce its vast territorial claims across the disputed South China Sea and only an armed conflict would be able to stop this.
Navy Admiral Philip S. Davidson, who has been nominated for head of U.S. Pacific Command, submitted the written remarks for his hearing in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. He said that China’s expanding military presence, including secret island bases, in the waters of the Asia Pacific have given its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) a step toward total dominance of the region, where countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam contest China’s expansive, self-proclaimed maritime borders.
“Once occupied, China will be able to extend its influence thousands of miles to the south and project power deep into Oceania. The PLA will be able to use these bases to challenge U.S. presence in the region, and any forces deployed to the islands would easily overwhelm the military forces of any other South China Sea-claimants,” Davidson wrote.
“In short, China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States,” he added. Read More