United States lawmakers describe China’s actions in the Pacific Region as aggressive and they now want to respond to China’s behavior by providing armament and training to American allies in the Pacific.
At the moment, China is trying to reclaim territories in the South China Sea, which is why China is constructing the string of artificial islands in this sea. According to The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), the response of the US to this “China Sea Initiative” is absolutely needed.
This is why SASC Chairman Senator John McCain suggested equipping and training the US allies in the Pacific. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are among them.
This is how these countries will be able to ensure their maritime security.
If this new directive is accepted, within the next five years, 425 million dollars will become available for supporting these activities.
As Pentagon officials stated, China is making progress with its artificial islands project, and during the last year it managed to build more than 1,500 acres of islands.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter received a letter from the US lawmakers who were worried about this progressive development of the situation in the South China Sea, and who asked for stronger response of the US military.
Additionally, their attitude is that China has shown disregard for the interests of the US allies, which is why their suggestion is that China should be left out of the forthcoming 2016 Rim of the Pacific multi-national military exercise, which should happen in Hawaii.
As stated in the letter, another reason for not inviting China to the multi-national military exercise is widely criticized China’s move during the previous Rim of the Pacific exercise in 2014, when China brought an intelligence-gathering ship to the event.
From the point of view of the US lawmakers, a military-to-military relationship with China should be maintained, however, they strongly advise Carter to take measures against China’s aggressive actions.
Carter himself stated that the development of the situation in the South China Sea requires greater US involvement, but he also noticed that recent events inspired international cooperation.
According to Carter, the US and countries from the South China Sea are very much interested in this matter because their interest is to achieve the freedom of navigation, freedom of the seas, freedom of flying, freedom to sail as well as freedom from pressure.