China has announced that their military is fully prepared to defend the islands in the South China Sea, having conducted several successful test flights at a newly-built airfield in the area.
China’s Navy chief, Wu Shengli, said that China is confident that it is capable of defending the sovereignty and security of the islands against outside threats.
According to China’s Navy chief the amount of defense facilities on islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands totally depends on the level of threat China faces and China will not seek militarization in the region, Wu Shengli said on Wednesday.
Wu Shengli during a teleconference with US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said that the building of necessary defense facilities on islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands is not militarization. This has been malevolently hyped up by certain countries and media.
China’s PLA Navy is determined and capable of defending the sovereignty and security of the islands and reefs in the South China Sea, Wu added.
As was reported earlier, the testing of the newly constructed airfield is nothing more than efforts by the country to better serve the needs of the great many vessels and seafarers using one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
The Chinese government stated that the runway would conform to civil aviation standards and other improved facilities intended at facilitating search and rescue, disaster prevention and reduction andnavigation safety.
During the teleconference, Wu and Richardson discussed the progress in the relationship between the US Navy and PLA noting successful exchanges and visits during 2015. Both of them hope to uphold a bilateral naval relationship in 2016 based on this progress.