In a press statement, spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said on September 25, 2015, Chinese leader Xi Jinping stood in the White House Rose Garden and stated “China does not intend to pursue militarization” of the Spratly Islands, and China’s outposts would not “target or impact any country.”
China has instead pursued a reckless and provocative militarization of those disputed outposts. They have deployed anti-ship cruise missiles, expanded military radar and signal intelligence capabilities, constructed dozens of fighter jet hangars, and have built runways capable of accommodating combat aircraft, said the statement.
China uses these militarized outposts as platforms of coercion to assert control over waters to which Beijing has no lawful maritime claim, spokesperson Ortagus said. They serve as staging grounds for the hundreds of maritime militia vessels and China Coast Guard ships that regularly harass civilian craft and impede legitimate law enforcement activities, offshore fishing, and hydrocarbon development by neighboring states, she noted.
The US urges the international community to continue to raise its opposition to this unacceptable and dangerous behavior, the statement said, stressing that the US will continue to stand with Southeast Asian countries and partners in resisting China’s coercive efforts to establish dominion over the South China Sea.