The Current

China flexes military muscles with missiles in South China Sea

China's growing military muscle in the South China Sea has Washington strategists seeing red. Today The Current takes a look at how Beijing's military power may be used, who is wary and who thinks its time has come.
Military Historian Miles Yu says don't fear China because of their increased military might, fear them because their history and beliefs make them more likely to use them. (Joe Chan/Reuters)

Read segment transcript

Recently satellite images confirm that China had deployed missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea. 

It's not the first time China has asserted itself in the contested waters, where tensions are already high. Taiwan, Vietnam, the Phillipines, among other countries also claim sovereignty in the South China Sea. 

Soldiers from a special unit of the People's Armed Police in Xinjiang attend a training session in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, Feb. 20, 2016. (Stringers/Reuters)

As China's military power grows, many observers worry that pressure to use that power is growing inside the country as well. 

No doubt tensions in the South China Sea and China's military moves in the area will be topics of discussion when the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrives in Washington to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry. 

Guests in this segment:

  • Yanmei Xie, senior China analyst for the International Crisis Group
  • Miles Yu, professor of military history at The United States Naval Academy.
  • Robert Farley, senior lecturer at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Karen Chen, John Chipman and Marino Greco.
 

now