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Subject Pentagon Warns of Conflict Over Chinese Buildup on Disputed Island ! Beijing asserts Scarborough Shoal is Chinese territory !!
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Original Message China’s plans to build up a disputed island near the Philippines could lead to a regional conflict, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Congress on Thursday.

Carter was asked about the strategic significance of China’s plan to add military facilities to a disputed island known as Scarborough Shoal located about 120 miles—within missile range—of Subic Bay, Philippines, where U.S. warships will be based.Carter said the Pentagon has similar views about a number of island disputes in the South China Sea, where China has been claiming most of the sea as its maritime territory and demanding that other states, including the United States, keep out of the region.Tensions have been heightened by Chinese military activities in the sea. A legal showdown is expected in the next several weeks when an international court is expected to rule in favor of the Philippines and against China’s expansive South China Sea claims.

In Beijing, a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman bristled at U.S. opposition to the island building campaign and accused Washington of heightening tensions.To counter China’s moves, Fanell said the Navy’s Pacific Fleet should begin warship patrols at Scarborough. [link to freebeacon.com]
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