Date: May 30, 2015
By: David Alexander and Rachel Armstrong
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday that China’s island-building in the South China Sea was undermining security in the Asia-Pacific, drawing a scathing response from the foreign ministry in Beijing.
Carter, speaking to top defense officials from the Asia-Pacific at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, acknowledged that several countries had created outposts in the region’s disputed islands, but he said the scope of China’s activity created uncertainty about its future plans.
“China has reclaimed over 2,000 acres, more than all other claimants combined … and China did so in only the last 18 months,” Carter told the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum. “It is unclear how much farther China will go.”
He said the United States was “deeply concerned” about the scale of China’s land reclamation and the prospect of further militarization of the islands, saying it would boost “the risk of miscalculation or conflict.” [FULL STORY]