first_imgChinese leaders seem to believe that through coercion,Chinese leaders seem to believe that through coercion, intimidation and force they can bypass accepted methods of dispute resolution.They have demonstrated this through aggressive artificial island building, and by growing a fleet of “white hull” ships and fishing vessels whose purpose is to dominate the area without the appearance of overt military force.China is now turning its artificial island projects into operating bases for forward-staging military capabilities under the rubric of being civilian facilities, he said.In a little over two years, China has constructed more than 3,000 acres of artificial land, heightening environmental concerns by destroying the fragile ecosystem of the South China Sea, he said.”Chinas actions undermine the international rules-based order. Furthermore, these actions have driven Chinas South China Sea neighbours to expand their own military capabilities and seek stronger relationships with the US and one another. The result is a situation that is ripe for miscalculation that could escalate to conflicts that no one wants, in an area vital to global prosperity,” Harris said. PTI LKJ KUNlast_img

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