Inside the Ring: Blunt warning on China

A senior Navy intelligence official issued a blunt warning last week that China’s growing “hegemonistic” threat to security is destabilizing the Asia-Pacific region.

“Make no mistake, the [Chinese] navy is focused on war at sea and about sinking an opposing fleet,” said Capt. James Fanell, deputy chief of staff for intelligence and information operations at the U.S. Pacific Fleet, at a defense conference in San Diego on Jan. 31.

China’s navy is escalating efforts to gain control of what Beijing calls “near seas” by using “civil proxy” maritime security ships, Capt. Fanell said.

“They now regularly challenge exclusive economic-zone resource rights that South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Vietnam once thought were guaranteed to them by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said.

The Chinese naval harassment expanded outward over time to cover most of the South China Sea and East China Sea.

“China is challenging other nations’ rights,” he said, under the rubric of “what’s mine is mine, and we’ll negotiate what’s yours.”

China now has eight military installations on seven reefs in the Spratly islands, claimed by the Philippines.

Chinese aggressiveness has increased the welcome for the U.S. Navy by all states in the region concerned about “a hegemonic China,” he said.

We now have more places to send ships than we have ships to send them,” he added.

Full article: Inside the Ring: Blunt warning on China (Washington Times)

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