A leading Chinese general has suggested that military defense structures should be built on the artificial islands of China in the South China Sea, while Foreign Minister Wang Yi blamed US aggression for destabilizing the region, The Associated Press reported.
Vice The president of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, Lieutenant General He Lei, argued that the islands need to be militarized to reinforce China's claim on the sovereignty of the sea. The artificial islands have been built despite the competitive claims of China's neighbors and the increasingly frequent demonstrations of US strength. UU In the zone.
He made the comments during a meeting with journalists at the annual meeting of the ceremonial legislature of China. The general declined to comment on whether Chinese warplanes would be deployed on the islands.
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Lieutenant General of China, He Lei, attends the fifth plenary session during the XVI Summit of the Shangri-La Dialogue of the Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), in Singapore, on June 4, 2017. He has suggested that military defense structures be built on the artificial islands of China in the South China Sea. ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP / Getty Images
China has already built radar installations, barracks and tracks on the islands. Some islands have tracks capable of handling any Chinese military aircraft.
Wang, in reference to the USA. He said: "Some external forces are not happy with the prevailing calm and try to cause problems and mess up the waters, their frequent demonstration of strength with fully armed planes and ships is the most destabilizing factor in the region."
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends a press conference at the Beijing Media Center on March 8, 2017. Wang has blamed the US aggression for destabilizing the region. China is working with its neighbors to complete a code of conduct to avoid friction in the disputed waters, Wang said. Lintao Zhang / Getty Images
China is working with neighbors to complete a code of conduct to avoid friction in the disputed waters, Wang said. Five other nations – Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan – have claims about the rich fishing grounds, vital sea routes and natural resources. potentials that the area contains.
The United States has been sending its navy near Chinese bases and making surveillance flights over the islands. It has also been expanding its regional military capacity in an attempt to reinforce its influence. Last week, the USS Carl Vinson with nuclear engine visited the Vietnamese port of Danang, the first visit of a vessel of this type since the end of the Vietnam War and partially designed as a demonstration of strength and scope to China and North Korea. China, however, dismissed the visit as a "waste of money".
China announced on Monday that it would expand its military budget by 8.1 percent as it works to modernize its huge army. Now it is the second largest investor in the world, it will invest 1.1 trillion yuan ($ 173 billion) in 2018. It is estimated that the US. UU They will spend $ 886 billion in 2018.
He defended the spending increase and noted that China is spending 1.25 percent of its gross domestic product and 5.2 percent of its total government budget on the armed forces, which is less than United States and Russia. "So really, an increase of 8.1 percent is still quite low," he said.