Tags: china | expanding | navy | south china sea

China Expanding Navy, Going on the Offense in South China Sea

By    |   Wednesday, 27 May 2015 08:20 AM

China is expanding its navy beyond its borders into the South China Sea, saying the move is meant to safeguard economic interest and comes after U.S. "meddling" in the region.

Beijing announced on Tuesday that it was acting for "international security cooperation" while putting a greater emphasis on "open sea protection," according to the Washington Post. China said its air force's mission would shift focus from "territorial air defense to both defense and offense."

"It asserts a confidence backed by growing capability on land and increasingly at sea," Patrick Cronin, director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, told the Post. "While it calls for balancing China's territorial 'rights' with 'stability,' there should be little doubt on the part of its neighbors that China is building a maritime force to assert the former."

China charged that other countries were illegally occupying reefs and islands that belong to China, and it is now claiming 90 percent of the China sea, reported Stars & Stripes. The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan all claim territory there.

"Some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs; a tiny few maintain constant close-in air and sea surveillance and reconnaissance against China," Beijing charged. "It is thus a long-standing task for China to safeguard its maritime rights and interests."

China pointed to a May 20 incident in which it challenged a U.S. Navy jet that flew near the Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spartly Islands, according to Stars & Stripes. The U.S. pilot maintained that he was in international air space and would not leave.

"China firmly opposes America's provocation, and has lodged solemn representations with the American side," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. "We urge the U.S. side to correct its mistake, stay rational and cease irresponsible words and deeds."

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China is expanding its navy beyond its borders into the South China Sea, saying the move is meant to safeguard economic interest and comes after U.S. "meddling" in the region.
china, expanding, navy, south china sea
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2015-20-27
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 08:20 AM
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