In the era of fake news, the public also needs to be wary of fake islands.
Top US military commander Admiral Harry Harris has accused Beijing of building up combat power and positional advantage in an attempt to assert de facto sovereignty over disputed territory in the South China Sea.
‘Fake islands should not be believed by real people,’ Admiral Harris said in a speech to the Australian Strategic Policy Centre in Brisbane on Wednesday.
‘China is using its military and economic power to erode the rules-based international order.’
About $6.6 trillion of trade transits by ship through the South China Sea each year.
China’s territorial claims are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Admiral Harris said the US won’t allow ‘shared domains to be closed down unilaterally’ and resolutely opposed the use of coercion and intimidation to advance claims.