Chinese Militarization in S. China Sea Aimed at Rapid Power Projection

China’s military buildup on disputed islands in the South China Sea is nearly finished and supports Beijing’s plan to rapidly project power in the region, according to intelligence made public this week.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated in an intelligence analysis for Congress that China is nearing completion of key military outposts on reefs and islets claimed by several other nations.

“Based on the pace and scope of construction at these outposts, China will be able to deploy a range of offensive and defensive military capabilities and support increased PLA [Navy] and [Chinese coast guard] presence beginning in 2016,” Clapper said.

“Once these facilities are completed by the end of 2016 or early 2017, China will have significant capacity to quickly project substantial offensive military power in the region,” he stated.

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