While speaking during an interview on Thursday, the Commander of the Pacific Fleet spoke about tension mounting due to Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea but admitted that although US will sail near the disputed islands to challenge China’s claims, the final decision rests on the country’s policymakers.
Swift told the Associated Press that his Pacific Fleet has the capabilities to enter the controversial waters but went on to claim that such an exercise will be conducted in a bid to reinforce international laws and the law of sea and that these patrols will not be aimed at a specific country.
“We’re ready,” Swift said at his Pearl Harbor office. “We have the resources to support whatever those policy decisions are and whatever policymakers may ask us to do to demonstrate the U.S. resolve with respect to the operations that we conduct in the South China Sea.”
Pacific Fleet to flex its muscles soon?
China has really speeded things up in terms of constructing the new islands atop reefs and atolls in the South China Sea since 2013 and now, has added buildings and airstrips in a bid to boost its sovereignty claims in the disputed territory.