America sounds ‘arms race’ alert over South China Sea amid fears of military conflict

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The alleged ongoing land reclamation by China on Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines Photo: REUTERS

The top US commander in the Pacific criticises ‘might is right’ approach as China scorns international tribunal on disputed waters

America’s top military commander for the Pacific has taken a thinly veiled swipe at China as he warned that a dangerous arms race over the disputed waters of the South China Sea could “engulf” the region.

Admiral Scott Swift said that nations could be increasingly tempted to use military force instead of international law to settle territorial claims.

“My concern is that after many decades of peace and prosperity, we may be seeing the leading edge of a return of ‘might makes it right’ to the region,” the US Pacific Fleet Commander said in a speech in Hawaii, according to a copy seen by Reuters news agency.

China has rejected attempts by the Philippines to seek redress at an international tribunal. Beijing has insisted that it has sovereignty over the waters, building man-made islands and military runways to establish its claim.

“Claimants and non-claimants alike are transferring larger shares of national wealth to develop more capable naval forces beyond what is needed merely for self defence,” said Adml Swift.

Full article: America sounds ‘arms race’ alert over South China Sea amid fears of military conflict (The Telegraph)

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