A senior official from the Australian government told Garnaut that China hsd won the first round of its battle for control in the South China Sea by completing the construction of an archipelago of artificial islands. The United States and its allies, including Australia, can do very little to stop China from winning the next round as well, the official said, and the deployment of US warships and aircraft to the region to challenge China’s “unlawful” claims has proved indecisive.
This is a huge strategic victory for China, Garnaut quoted an official as saying. The analyst said the developments pose a threat to the national security of Australia as the islands will give China the ability to obstruct other claimant and potentially disrupt sea lanes through which more than three-fifths of Australia’s marine trade passes.
Full article: China to militarize its artificial islands from 2017: expert (Want China Times)