It's increasingly clear that China intends to use its artificial islands in the South China Sea for military purposes. Admiral Harry Harris, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, delivered this assessment on a panel that I was privileged to be part of at the Aspen Security Forum last week.
Harris described the newly-created islands as potential “forward operating posts” for the Chinese military. Beijing hasn't denied that it will use the outposts for military functions, but it has emphasized plans to provide public goods such as maritime search and rescue, disaster prevention and mitigation and meteorological observation. [READ MORE]