Washington: China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States, warned Admiral Philip Davidson, Commander, US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM). Likewise, Admiral Davidson’s predecessor, Admiral Harry Harris had issued a similar warning a few months ago and warned that the US would have to pay a heavy price for ignoring Chinese movements in the South China Sea.
In a hearing before the US Senate Armed Services Committee, Admiral Davidson reiterated the warnings of his preceding officials. Also, in a report released only last month, the US Defense Headquarters, the Pentagon had mentioned about China’s increasing threat in the South China Sea region. In view of these events, Admiral Davidson’s statement made in the Senate hearing is significant.
By establishing the Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) in the Pacific, the United States has indicated at once again increasing its influence in the Pacific. The US activities are said to be in response to China’s aggression. Two months ago, a joint war exercise between the navies of the US and Japan had concluded in the South China Sea. Also, prior to it, the advanced US B-52 bombers had patrolled the South China Sea.
While the US efforts to stop China are underway, the latter has also strategised to keep the US as also the other countries, away from this region. The activities of the western nations in the South China Sea won’t be tolerated, threatened Lui Xiaoming, China’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom. ‘A few countries have sent their warships and fighter jets in the South China Sea under the pretext of the international law of the Freedom of Navigation (FON). This violates China’s sovereignty. No one should make the mistake of underestimating China when it comes to the security of its interests and sovereignty’, Xiaoming thus, issued a stern warning.
Only a few days ago, reports of the British warship HMS Albion and the Chinese Navy coming face-to-face in the South China Sea, had surfaced. Moreover, before the incident, the warships of the US, France and Japan had challenged China by sailing through the South China Sea.