China’s Destabilizing Presence in the Pacific

Pacific Air Forces boss Gen. Lori Robinson said she is very concerned about China’s efforts to militarize the South China Sea. “Even though there are other nations that have done some land reclamation, over 3,000 acres have been claimed by China and they have put down a 10,000-foot runway,” said Robinson during her ASC15 address on Monday. “The possibility of militarization” is “very troubling,” she added. In addition, China released a new defense strategy shifting its focus from land to sea, while also prioritizing “cyberspace, outer space, [and] nuclear forces,” said Robinson, who has visited China twice since taking command of PACAF. “The last thing I saw when I was there was the new airplane they rolled out, which looks very much like an F-35,” she added. The technology gap between the US Air Force and other militaries, including China, is “decreasing” and that, too, makes Robinson “incredibly concerned.”