Carter called on all countries with claims to disputed territories in the sea to cease and desist from creating artificial islands to help dial down the tension in the region.
At a Pentagon news briefing on Thursday, Carter called on all countries concerned to “stop dredging, stop any further militarization, not just stop temporarily, but stop permanently.”
He said other countries are involved in construction activities on land features that they claim “but China is by far and away the one that has done the most especially in the last year…”
Asked how the US military should deal with the existence of Chinese artificial islands in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea, he reiterated the United States would continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law permits.
Carter said China’s behavior was having the effect of strengthening America’s alliances in the Asia-Pacific area and increasing the number and strength of its partnerships. – Jose Katigbak