Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















SUPERPOWERS
US presses Xi on South China Sea non-militarization
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Feb 27, 2016


China hits back at US admiral's accusations of militarisation
Beijing (AFP) Feb 26, 2016 - Beijing's South China Sea defences are "reasonable and necessary," its foreign ministry said Friday, responding to a top US admiral who warned of it securing "de facto" control of the region.

China claims almost the whole of the area -- through which a third of the world's oil passes -- while several other littoral states have competing claims, as does Taiwan.

The Asian giant is using dredgers to turn reefs and low-lying features into larger land masses for runways and other military uses to bolster its claims of sovereignty.

The US has raised concerns that the activities could pose challenges to the free passage of ships and aircraft through the strategically vital area.

"If China continues to arm all of the bases they have reclaimed in the South China Sea, they will change the operational landscape in the region," US Admiral Harry Harris told Pentagon reporters Thursday.

"Short of war with the United States, China will exercise de facto control of the South China Sea."

At a regular press briefing Friday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that Harris's comments amounted to "smearing China's legitimate and reasonable actions" while "making excuses for US attempts at hegemony at sea".

"Facts are facts: China's deployments in the South China Sea are reasonable and appropriate homeland defence facilities, and do not constitute militarisation," he added.

Satellite imagery released this week shows Beijing is installing radar gear, has also deployed surface-to-air missiles and has lengthened a runway to accommodate fighter jets on one islet, Woody Island, in the Paracels.

Harris expressed concern over the possibility that China might be preparing what is known as an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the entire South China Sea, through which it could militarily query any vessel or aircraft passing through.

Hong did not deny the possibility, but said that such a decision "would depend on the development of the situation," which is at the moment "stable".

The White House pressed Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday to expand his non-militarization pledge to cover the entire South China Sea, despite Beijing's recent military activity in the area.

Daniel Kritenbrink, senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, spoke amid rising tensions between the two countries over China's deployment of surface-to-air missiles, radar gear, air strips and fighter jets on an islet there.

During a state visit in September, Xi insisted that "China does not intend to pursue militarization" in the Spratly Island chain -- known as Nansha in Chinese.

The islands are claimed in part or whole by Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

"We think it would be good if that non-militarization pledge, if he (Xi) would extend that across the entire South China Sea," Kritenbrink told a forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"We're going to encourage our Chinese friends and other countries in the region to refrain from taking steps that raise tensions."

China claims almost the whole of the area -- through which a third of the world's oil passes -- while several other littoral states have competing claims, as does Taiwan.

"This is an incredibly important waterway through which much of international trade flows," Kritenbrink said.

"We are concerned that China has taken a number of unilateral steps over the last several years that we think raise tensions in the region and are destabilizing."

The Asian giant is using dredgers to turn reefs and low-lying features into larger land masses for runways and other military uses to bolster its claims of sovereignty.

Earlier this week, US Pacific Command chief Admiral Harry Harris warned that China was changing the "operational landscape in the region." He has called for more flyovers and patrols.

"Short of war with the United States, China will exercise de facto control of the South China Sea," Harris said.

Kritenbrink also urged China to respect an international court's decision due later this year on Manila's dispute with Beijing over territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Kritenbrink said he expected the upcoming ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration to be "extremely important" because it will mark the outcome of a process that allows countries to use peaceful legal means to pursue disputes.

China does not recognize The Hague-based court's authority, but it has ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea at the center of the case.

"When that ruling comes out, it will be binding on both parties," Kritenbrink said.

"That will be an important moment that all of us in the region should focus on."

.


Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
SUPERPOWERS
US Navy to sail more in contested parts of S. China Sea
Washington (AFP) Feb 24, 2016
The US Navy plans to increase "freedom of navigation" operations in the South China Sea as Beijing continues its military buildup in the contested waterway, a US admiral said Wednesday. The sailings involve a US warship coming within 12 nautical miles of islets claimed by China as a way of rebutting Beijing's assertions of sovereignty. Since October, the Navy has carried out two such fre ... read more


SUPERPOWERS
NASA releases strange 'music' heard by 1969 astronauts

NASA chooses ASU to design and operate special satellite

Chinese scientists invent leak detection system for moon exploration

Aldrin recounts successes and challenges of historic space journey

SUPERPOWERS
Jarosite in the Noctis Labyrinthus Region of Mars

Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli are joined

Footprints of a martian flood

Russia plans return to Mars, Moon despite money woes

SUPERPOWERS
Orion Simulations Help Engineers Evaluate Mission Operations for Crew

NASA Space Program Now Requires Russian Language

India plans to launch 60 space missions in 5 years

Alpha Centauri: Our First Target for Interstellar Probes

SUPERPOWERS
China's moon lander Chang'e-3 enters 28th lunar day

Staying Alive on Tiangong 2

China Conducts Final Tests on Most Powerful Homegrown Rocket

Last Launch for Long March 2F/G

SUPERPOWERS
Scott Kelly returns to earth, but science for NASA's journey to Mars continues

Orbital ATK Completes OA-4 Cargo Delivery Mission to ISS for NASA

Send your computer code into space with astronaut Tim Peake

Black Mold Found in Cargo Prepared for ISS, Resupply Mission Delayed

SUPERPOWERS
SpaceX postpones rocket launch again

Russian rocket engines ban could leave US space program in limbo

SpaceX warns of failure in Wednesday's rocket landing

Launcher and satellite preparations continue for Ariane 5's mission with EUTELSAT 65 West A

SUPERPOWERS
Imaging technique may help discover Earth-like planets

Longest-Lasting Stellar Eclipse Discovered

Astronomers take images of an exoplanet changing over time

First detection of super-earth atmosphere

SUPERPOWERS
Romania orders Lockheed Martin radar systems

Russian Space Intelligence Center to Receive New Radars

Chinese firm abandons acquisition over US scrutiny

Marines order more simulated training systems




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.