Beijing's South China Sea bombers fly in the face of protests
27 May, 2018, 14:13 | Author: Gregory Stephens
The Pentagon says it has "strong evidence" China has also deployed anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers to the islands.
Logan added that Xi had broken a promise he made to the global community that China would not militarize the Spratly Islands.
Speaking at a separate briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said China has sovereign rights in the South China Sea and it is not realistic for the United States to use this kind of action to try to coerce Beijing.
The South China Sea plays host to countless territorial disputes between China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Private sector data analysis shows Subi Reef, 750 miles from China's coast, with nearly 400 individual buildings, which is more than any other Chinese island.
The Pentagon also cited its objections to China's recent landing of bomber aircraft at Woody Island in the Paracel Island chain, north of the Spratlys.
China's participation in the past two drills improved understanding between the Chinese, US and other navies, its knowledge of how foreign exercises are conducted, and experience in global search and rescue cooperation - but it did not help much with its military capabilities, according to Li.
While the USA and Chinese militaries coordinate in some areas, the United States has expressed concern about China's growing arsenal of sophisticated weapons and its attempt to project its might across Asia and beyond.
This weekend, China revealed bombers had conducted take-off and landing training on some of its islands and reefs in preparation for what it called "the battle for the South China Sea".
The Pentagon condemned Friday's bomber drills as a sign of "continued militarisation" of disputed islands while Vietnam said the move violated its sovereignty and raised tensions in the region.
As an observer in 2012 and participant in 2014 China sent an intelligence-gathering ship "to vacuum-up signals intelligence on the U.S. Navy and our allies", Fanell said.
The statement also did not mention China's use of a laser against USA pilots flying near Beijing's first overseas military base in the east African state of Djibouti. It comes at a time of considerable uncertainty in U.S.
China's Defence Ministry expressed regret on Thursday after the United States withdrew an invitation to China to attend a major US -hosted naval drill, saying that closing the door does not promote mutual trust and co-operation.
"China's militarization of the South China Sea deserves to be penalized, not rewarded", he said. "China's behavior is inconsistent with the principles and purposes of the RIMPAC exercise".
China has participated twice previously, in 2014 and 2016.
RIMPAC is slated to begin June 27 and last until August 2, according to officials.
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