Date
25 March 2017
China's island building in the South China is made even more provocative because it comes with military infrastructure, according to a US congressional report. Photo: CNN
China's island building in the South China is made even more provocative because it comes with military infrastructure, according to a US congressional report. Photo: CNN

China challenging US-led peace in Asia Pacific, says panel

China is challenging decades of US-led peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region by expanding islands it claims in the South China Sea.

The move is all “all the more provocative” because it is being outfitted with a range of military infrastructure, according to a US congressional commission report cited by Bloomberg.

Also, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said China is a “less welcoming place for foreign companies”.

It blamed newly adopted or proposed Chinese laws that favor domestic enterprises and could seriously undermine the ability of US and other foreign companies to do business in the country.

The report said China’s economic slowdown “may weaken public support for the government, which could encourage nationalist displays and adventurism abroad”.

China’s military has conducted at least seven tests of anti-satellite weapons that ascend directly from Earth, the most recent in July 2014, firing an SC-19 missile that intercepted a suborbital target, it said.

That test left no space debris, unlike the January 2007 test using an SC-19 against an aging Chinese weather satellite, which created more than 3,400 pieces of debris that continue “to threaten the space systems and astronauts of all nations”.

“China is pursuing a broad and robust array of counterspace capabilities, which includes direct-ascent anti-satellite missiles”, like the SC-19 and newer DN-2, “co-orbital anti-satellite systems, computer network operations, ground-based satellite jammers, and directed energy weapons,” it said.

The 2007 test demonstrated China’s ability “to strike satellites in low-Earth orbit, where the majority of the United States’ approximately 549
satellites reside, including about 30 military and intelligence satellites”.

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FL/RA

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