29 October 2015
China’s Ambassador to the United States said China has to seriously think about beefing up its defence capabilities in the region, state agency Xinhua reported, after a US warship entered waters that China claims in the South China Sea.
Mr Cui Tiankai’s comments come as Chinese defence authorities accuse the US of militarising the region. Analysts say this may prompt China to follow suit, ramping up tensions further in the disputed waters.
“We have to make sure we have sufficient means to safeguard our sovereignty there, to protect our lawful rights there,” Mr Cui was quoted by Xinhua as saying in a CNN interview. This would ensure that “nobody will have any more illusion that it could continue to provoke”, he said.
… Dr Li Mingjiang from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies believes China may increase the number of military patrols in the disputed waters, but that it cannot build much more on the islands because of limited space. China will also be mindful of the already strained relations it has with its neighbours, particularly Asean, he said.
“It will weigh these factors because it understands that its land reclamation activities have been significant,” he told The Straits Times. “This isn’t just about the US.”
GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 13/11/2015