Thursday, 28 May 2015 - 18:53
U.S. hopes Chinese island-building will spur Asian response
By releasing video of Beijing’s island reclamation work and considering more assertive maritime actions, the United States is signalling a tougher stance over the South China Sea and trying to spur Asian partners to more action.
The release last week of the surveillance plane footage - showing dredgers and other ships busily turning remote outcrops into islands with runways and harbours - helps ensure the issue will dominate an Asian security forum starting on Friday attended by U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter as well as senior Chinese military officials.
As it pushes ahead with a military “pivot” to Asia partly aimed at countering China, Washington wants Southeast Asian nations to take a more united stance against China's rapid acceleration this year of construction on disputed reefs.