China’s national newspaper, The People’s Daily, is claiming that the Chinese military will continue to expand its strength into distant waters without fear of U.S. retaliation.
China’s carrier battle group has been leading several drill expeditions and military exercises into the waters of the Yellow Sea, East China Sea, Western Pacific, South China Sea, and Taiwan Strait. According to state-run media, the Chinese government has no plans of halting expansion.
“From now on, Chinese military training in distant seas will be routine,” the People’s Daily stated. When referring to the U.S. demands that the Chinese halt such exercises, the paper stated, “These provocations, pressure, nonsensical claims, and exaggerations will not prevent the normal drills of the Chinese military.” This declaration also applies to the militarized outposts constructed throughout the South China Sea, which has become an aquatic region of contestation and dispute.
If China continues to expand military exercises, then the White House will have to deal with the issue rapidly. “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands is not going to be allowed,” Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson proclaimed in his confirmation hearing last week.
According to the People’s Daily report, China has plans to begin expansion into the Eastern Pacific, similarly to how the U.S. sends carrier groups into the Western Pacific.
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