China is defending its building of artificial islands in the South China Sea and accusing the United States of causing trouble in the region.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that "the U.S. is committing what she called provocations and instigations that threaten stability" in the region after Defense Secretary Ash Carter defended the U.S. flights over the islands yesterday.

According to Fox News, a U.S. official said that "there are concerns China is working to build a perimeter around the South China Sea, so it potentially can claim the entire region as its own economic zone."

"There should be no mistake in this, the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows,” Carter said on Wednesday, responding to Chinese complaints about U.S. military flights over the projects.

Fox News reported:

Carter’s comments come in the wake of a formal Chinese protest over last week's flight of a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft over Fiery Cross Reef. Carter’s message signals a sharp start to his 11-day trip in Asia, where he will make stops in Singapore, Vietnam and India.

However, Carter did little to clarify what the U.S. is willing to do to get China to halt the island construction.

One senior U.S. official told The Associated Press there are discussions about conducting more military flights and patrols in the South China Sea near the projects. Officials are also looking at ways to adjust the military exercises in the region to increase U.S. presence there if needed.

On "Special Report" tonight, Charles Krauthammer said that "the Chinese aren't reckless like the Russians."

"What they're doing is creating Chinese territory in the middle of the sea that doesn't belong to them and on waters that is claimed by many of the neighbors in the region," he said. "But they are doing it because they sense that they can probe the United States under this administration, because it has shown that it doesn't stand up."  

He said that he doesn't think there is a "conflict." He noted that China's military has dramatically grown in the last 20 years. 

"Their objective is to deny us access to the Pacific Rim waters that we have dominated since the Second World War and that's aggressive, but they will do it slowly over time," Krauthammer stated.

Watch the video above.


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