Pentagon: Challenging China Over South Sea Islands ‘The Next Step’

Administration Accuses China of 'Stoking Instability'

In the latest indication yet that the US military intends to challenge China’s claims to a series of islands in the South China Sea, Pentagon officials are saying today that direct naval and aerial patrols over the islands are likely the “next step.”

The islands, near the Spratly chain, are unquestionably China’s, since the islands are man-made and were created by the Chinese themselves.

The Obama Administration has made challenging Chinese claims in the South China Sea such a go-to policy, however, that they are deciding to challenge China over islands that couldn’t possibly belong to anyone else.

And as the administration overtly tries to pick a fight with China over these islands, the State Department is mocking the new islands as “sandcastles,” and claiming China is “eroding regional trust and undermining investor confidence.” To that end, officials warn it could “lead to conflict.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of