Pentagon Bracing for Rising Red Tide as China Pursues Power Grab in East Asia

The top U.S. military commander in the Pacific is warning China is bent on achieving “hegemony in East Asia,” as Beijing’s top diplomat held talks in Washington with Secretary of State John F. Kerry amid rising tensions over who controls the vital South China Sea.

Navy Adm. Harry Harris Jr. issued a bracing warning about China’s increasing assertiveness during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this week, hours before a report that Chinese fighter jets had been deployed to a disputed Island in the South China Sea — the latest in a series of provocative moves by Beijing to bolster its sovereignty claims against its regional rivals.

U.S. officials confirmed the report on Thursday evening, but cautioned against reading too much into the development because Beijing has been known to send fighter jets on such missions over the years. After meeting with Mr. Kerry on Tuesday afternoon, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters at the State Department that Beijing’s military moves have been justified by provocative military actions by others in the region.

۠• China’s Military Buildup in Pacific Could Require US Response — MILCOM

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