Washington: Raising concern over growing might of Chinese armed forces, a top Pentagon official has said that lack of clarification from China on its military modernisation efforts has significant implications for regional stability.

"Absent clarification from China, its military modernisation efforts hold significant implications for regional stability," the US Pacific Command Commander Admiral Robert Willard, said in his testimony before House Armed Services Committee.

China's escalation will largely define Asia-Pacific environment in the 21st century, Williward said.

He said China's naval activities are a direct challenge to accepted interpretations of international law and established international norms.

"Of growing concern is China's maritime behaviour. China's recent official statements and actions in what Beijing calls its --near seas -- represent a direct challenge to accepted interpretations of international law and established international norms," Willard said.

Willard said assertiveness of Chinese naval and maritime law enforcement vessels in trying to advance China's territorial claims in the South China and East China Seas has led the US partners and allies in East Asia to seek additional support to balance and curb the Chinese behaviour.

"Unquestionably, China has made tremendous investment in its maritime capabilities across the board, to include the PLA navy. And we have no doubt that they have aspirations to make that a blue-water navy that's deployable around the world, and they're demonstrating that today with anti-piracy operations in and near the Gulf of Aden," Willard said.

Willard said that many of China's maritime policy statements and claims stand in contrast to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The US has consistently sought the appropriate balance between the interests of countries in controlling activities off their coasts with the interests of all countries in protecting freedom of navigation.

Willard said China continues to accelerate its offensive air and missile developments without corresponding public clarification about how these forces will be utilised.

"In conjunction, China is pursuing counter-space and -cyber capabilities that can be used to not only disrupt US military operations, but also to threaten the space-and cyber-based information infrastructure that enables international communications and commerce," Willard said.

(Agencies)

 

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