At least three islands among many built on the South China Sea by Beijing are now fully militarised. The communist regime armed them with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems, a move that raises security concerns to nearby countries.
The Chinese actions are opposite to President Xi Jinping's assurances that the communist regime would not turn the islands into military bases as it lies on the disputed borders.
Adm John C Aquilino, US Indo-Pacific commander, told Associated Press, "I think over the past 20 years we've witnessed the largest military buildup since World War II by the PRC. They have advanced all their capabilities, and that buildup of weaponization is destabilizing to the region."
Mischief Reef, Subi Reef and Fiery Cross
The US admiral spoke to the US-based publication when he was onboard a naval reconnaissance aircraft while flying near Chinese-held outposts in the South China Sea's Spratly archipelago. The region is heavily contested and during the patrol, the plane was repeatedly warned by Chinese callers.
China has been constructing missile arsenals, aircraft hangars, and other military outposts on Mischief Reef, Subi Reef and Fiery Cross and it have potentially completed the development.
With such efforts, China may continue to build military infrastructures on other disputed islands.
China Aims to Threaten Nearby Countries
The US commander believes that the communist regime is widening its offensive capability to border areas with an aim to threaten the enemy or nearby countries.
In the near future, any foreign aircraft flying near these areas can easily be intercepted and targeted by Chinese missiles. The nearby countries are now in the constant threat of China's increased military powers, revealed the US generally, adding that Beijing threatens all nations who operate in the vicinity and all the international sea and airspace.
The US reconnaissance flight flying over the Chinese occupied regions observed small cities on-screen monitors, with multi-story buildings, runways, seaports, warehouses, hangars, and others.
China objects to free navigation in the region and it tried to widen its claims on the South China Sea by building islands and other infrastructures on it nearly 10 years back.
However, the US had responded against Beijing's efforts and has been continuously sending routine missions into the South China Sea to promote free navigation in the region as the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have also made claims over the disputed sea, which is largely controlled by China.