China, which was suspected of building military outposts on the already disputed islands of the South China Sea, dismissed a US report released on Friday. The report showed satellite photos of growing Chinese military bases on a South China Sea island.
“China continues to invest in military programs and weapons designed to improve power projection, anti-access area denial and operations in emerging domains such as cyberspace, space and the electromagnetic spectrum,” CNN quoted Abraham Denmark, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, as saying.
The annual China Military Power report also revealed that China added more than 3,200 acres to the sites it occupied on the South China Sea. China’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun said that the report distorted China’s national defense policy and that the US is too suspicious.
“China follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature,” Fox News quoted the spokesperson as saying. “China’s deepening military reforms and its strengthening of weapons and equipment building are aimed at maintaining sovereignty, security and territorial integrity and guaranteeing China’s peaceful development.”
According to the report, China has built the military outposts to gain greater control over the maritime activities in the region without having to engage in armed conflicts.
China has built deep channels to make it easier for it to reach the outposts on these islands. It has also built artificial harbours and new berthing areas for larger ships. All the three largest outposts have an airfield, and there will be a 9,800 feet long runway for each of the airfields.
“China’s military modernisation program entered a new phase in 2015,” said Denmark. “China’s leaders seem committed to sustaining defense spending growth for the foreseeable future.”
Last year, China has also made significant achievements in their weapons programmes, according to the report. It has modernised its short, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, integrated air defense networks, high-performance aircraft and information operations capabilities.