Wednesday in New York City at the Council on Foreign Relations, when asked about China’s recent aggression of covertly constructing an airstrip on disputed islands in the South China Sea, Sen. Marco Rubio, a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, said he would use the U.S. Navy to “clearly show that this is international waters open for transit to anyone who wants to go through there.”
The disputed islands have long standing conflicting territorial claims among China, Taiwan, Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Rubio said, “First of all, they are not just building airstrips — they are building islands. They are building entire islands. Second, it’s an illegitimate claim that is part of their whole ‘nine-dash line’ idea that they actually own that part of the world. Third, I was encouraged to read this morning that the U.S. Navy is thinking of challenging that.”
He continued, “We should never accept as a truth that they control that. I would in fact take all sorts of Navy actions, not military action per se, but military naval vessels transitioning through that zone to clearly show that this is international waters open for transit to anyone who wants to go through there.”