Beijing: China has set up three military bases on islands in the South China Sea, equipping them with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems, laser and jamming gadgets while deploying fighter jets there, threatening nearby nations.

The information was provided by US Indo-Pacific commander Admiral John C Aquilino who said "China has upgraded fully their potentialities and the expansion of military equipment is definitely undermining the region," reported The Singapore Post.

Aquilino further added that the build-up of the military bases with missile arsenals, aircraft hangars, military systems and facilities on Mischief Reef, Subi Reef and Fiery Cross seems to have been completed but it endured to be seen if China would further engage in the construction of the military bases in neighbouring areas.

Furthermore, the military facilities on the islands threaten all other nations who have stakes in the region and all the international sea and airspace nearby.

Earlier in February, a moving army vessel of the Chinese People's Liberation flashed a military-grade laser at a plane of the Australian air force while supervising coastline maritime surveillance.

This event does not occur in the South China Sea near China's coastline, but in the Arafura Sea, within the purview of Australia's absolute economic zone, off the country's north coast. From this one can establish, that this is the nearest military threat by the Chinese on Australia's coastline.

Aquilino commented the confrontational actions were in clear contradiction to the Chinese president Xi Jinping's past affirmation that Beijing would not modify the artificial islands in disputed waters into military bases. The efforts were part of China's showcasing its power, he said.

There was no instant response from Chinese officials. But after years of escalated military disbursement, China now brags the world's second-largest defence budget after the US and is constantly updating its force with weapons systems, counting on the J-20 stealth aircraft, hypersonic missiles, reported The Singapore Post.

Aquilino also divulged that US navy reconnaissance aircraft in the South China Sea's Spratly archipelago during patrol was continuously cautioned by the Chinese that it unlawfully infiltrated and said it was China's territory.

Moreover, Navy commanding officer Joel Martinez recalled an event in which a Chinese jet flew near a US aircraft in dangerous navigation in the contested region. The US flight crew cautioned the Chinese to follow aviation safety regulations, he said.

China sought to bolster its massive territorial authority virtually over the entire South China Sea by constructing island bases on coral atolls nearly 10 years ago.

Moreover, countries like the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Brunei claim part of the sea from which an estimated USD 5 trillion worth of goods are transported every year.

The recent move by the Philippine government to triumphantly move the conflict with China to international arbitration showcases that the littoral states of the South China Sea are not going to bow down to China's aggression.

The Philippines has taken an aggressive stance against Chinese vessels violating its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the SCS, running patrols against Chinese vessels.

In a bold move, the Vietnam government has started asserting itself against the Chinese dominance in the South China Sea.

Hanoi commemorated (March 14) the 34th anniversary of a battle against the Chinese navy in the (Gac Ma reef/Johnson South reef) of the South China Sea (SCS), reported The Singapore Post.