Australia backs U.S. in latest South China Sea dispute

To avoid the trap of security dilemma and misunderstanding, the two countries should engage in dialogues and clarify each other's intentions, the article says.

Abraham Denmark, deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia, told reporters the military reforms "are meant to enhance the PLA's ability to conduct joint operations by replacing the old military regions with new geographic commands". "That common ground is the basis for kinds of conversations that President (Barack) Obama and he have on a fairly regular basis", he said.

Fiery Cross is presumed to be the future hub of Chinese military operations in the South China Sea.

China has sought to bolster its claim to nearly the entire South China Sea by constructing new islands such as Fiery Cross Reef atop coral outcroppings, adding to them airstrips, harbors and military infrastructure.

According to The Washington Post, China's rocket was able to reach a farther distant orbit - quite close to where the United States deploys its most sensitive national security satellites.

"China is using coercive advance their interests in ways that are calculated to fall below the threshold of provoking conflict", the report states. The territory sits well within the missile's range. In November, Beijing announced it was establishing a military facility in Djibouti. The weapon can be armed with nuclear and conventional warheads. However, fighting a war over Taiwan remains the PLA's top priority. With a decision imminent in the Philippines' arbitration against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), China may be forced to clarify its claims in the Spratlys in terms of the categories proscribed under UNCLOS soon enough.

In early October, island building was completed and the Chinese began building infrastructure including three 9,800-foot runways, communications, and surveillance gear.

About 6,000 USA military personnel are based on Guam.

Nevertheless, the FONOP surprised many observers by targeting Fiery Cross Reef.

Xu Hong, director-general of the Department of Treaty and Law at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a news conference in Beijing, "Many countries. are hyping this issue up, but no matter how loud their voices are, they still represent a minority of countries in the world".

The report argues that the effort doesn't give China any new territorial rights.

Guam also hosts a Navy base that homeports several fast-attack submarines.

China's precision-strike capabilities, including its bomber fleet, mid-air refueling capability and submarine stealth technology also should be watched, the report states.

A section of the report on China's energy strategy reveals that China will remain heavily dependent on foreign oil.

Energy supplies are vulnerable to disruption as some 83 percent of China's oil now passes through the South China Sea and Strait of Malacca.

The Chinese foreign ministry, using language remarkably similar to what it had said after October's FONOP in the Spratlys, condemned the USA action.

A report from the RAND Corporation think tank prepared before the Chinese military parade previous year called Andersen the "only USA base in the Western Pacific not now threatened by conventional ballistic missiles". The pathway also serves as an important passage for the Chinese navy to sail to the wider sea. Thus, the United States is legally entitled to conduct normal military operations within twelve nautical miles of Mischief Reef, which would signal that the United States will not alter its operations in response to Chinese land reclamation. The report estimates the budget will grow to $260 billion by 2020. "It is because the USA places its own interests above global law", Lu Kang noted. "As China is growing into a maritime power".

Control mechanisms include political commissars, a Party committee system, and Party investigative units.

"I understand that the United States was simply exercising this right, as it does from time to time, and this was a routine operation", Bishop added.

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