Published on Jun 5, 2015
The South China Sea dispute is eventually leading toward a potential military confrontation between China and the United States, a military analyst in Washington says. Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in the office of the US Secretary of Defense, made the remarks on Saturday during an interview with Press TV while commenting on US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s warning to China against developing man-made islands in the South China Sea.Speaking at a security conference in Singapore, Carter demanded China immediately stop developing islands in the South China Sea and accused it of acting “out of step with both the international rules and norms.” The annual Shangri-La Dialogue was attended by defense ministers and high-ranking military officials from China, Europe and other Asia-Pacific countries.“The question of China’s ownership – if you can call it that – of the Spratly and other islands in the South China Sea is questionable,” Maloof said. “But on the other hand, they have a long history near those islands and on the islands, historically.”
“In fact, they built a base on one of the shoals there. There is nothing in and of itself against that. The issue has to do with China is now saying they’ll be no overflights, and that they will control all navigation into the South China Sea, and that’s where the problem lies, and the United States and along with other countries such as Malaysia and the Philippines, even India all claim that China doesn’t have that right of claim,” he added.“The issue also has to do with mineral rights on the seabed and under the seabed, which is what China is looking for, because they are energy starved, and they are looking for new resources,” he continued.Washington accuses Beijing of undergoing a massive “land reclamation” program in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea, and says China’s territorial claims of the man-made islands could further militarize the region.The United States says its surveillance of China’s artificial islands indicates that Beijing has positioned weaponry on one of the islands it has built in the South China Sea.