McCain: China Behaving Like a Bully

McCain: China Behaving Like a Bully McCain: China Behaving Like a Bully

China is behaving like a bully with its militarization of islands in the South China Sea, Republican US Senator John McCain said on Tuesday, activity Washington must confront with its allies to find a peaceful solution.

In a speech in Sydney, McCain said China was asserting itself globally, best illustrated by militarizing artificial islands in the South China Sea, a claim repeatedly rejected by Beijing, Reuters reported. “I think it is very clear that the Chinese by filling in these islands are militarizing them and that is in violation of international law,” the Arizona senator said.

McCain’s comments are set to escalate tensions between the United States and China just days before delegates from both countries are scheduled to attend a regional security conference in Singapore.

China claims most of the resource-rich South China Sea through which about $5 trillion in shipborne trade pass every year. Neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims on the strategic waterway. The United States estimates Beijing has added more than 3,200 acres (1,300 hectares) of land on seven features in the South China Sea over the past three years, building runways, ports, aircraft hangars and communications equipment.

To counter the perceived Chinese aggression, the United States has conducted so-called freedom-of-navigation exercises, the most recent of which was conducted by a US navy warship near Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands.

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