NEW DELHI: China’s military mordernisation, particularly its defence capabilities by building artificial islands in the South China Sea region, has raised eyebrows in the Pentagon with the US Department of Defence recently describing such activities as potential threat.
“The PLA is developing and testing new intermediate- and medium-range conventional ballistic missiles, as well as long-range, land-attack, and anti-ship cruise missiles that extend China’s operational reach, attempting to push adversary forces—including the United States—farther from potential regional conflicts. China is also focusing on counter-space, offensive cyber operations, and electronic warfare capabilities meant to deny adversaries the advantages of modern, informationized warfare. In 2014, China also started reclaiming land and building infrastructure at its outposts in the Spratly Islands. China will be able to use them as persistent civil-military bases of operation to enhance its presence significantly in disputed areas,” the Pentagon said in its report on China’s military capabilities released last week.
India had also recently raised concerns over China’s artificial islands in SCS region where Delhi has deep economic and strategic interests. Vietnam voiced protests on the very day the Pentagon report was released and requested China to immediately end its construction and expansion on reef islands belonging to Vietnam. Its Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh on May 8.