NEWSMAX — The U.S. Navy’s top commander in the Pacific is calling for a strong military response to China’s moves in the South China Sea but the Obama administration has silenced him.
According to the Navy Times, Adm. Harry Harris would like to see the U.S. military flex its muscles in the face of China’s construction of artificial islands, the closest of which would be roughly 140 miles from the capital of the Philippines. President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice, however, has ordered military brass to keep their opinions on the matter to themselves.
The administration is in the process of trying to work with China on several issues, including trade and nuclear weapons.
“They want to get out of office with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of cooperation with China,” retired Navy captain Jerry Hendrix told Navy Times.
The Times reports that Rice’s gag order came in the middle of March during the lead-up to a nuclear summit that took place in Washington, D.C. last week. Chinese President Xi Jinping was present and met with Obama.
China has been building islands and runways on reefs and rocks in the South China Sea. The communist nation believes the area is Chinese territory.
The U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander said in December he believes the South China Sea situation could lead to an arms race that could deescalate the region.
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