China Rebuffs U.S. Request to Halt S. China Sea Island Work

China's Harbin (112) guided missile destroyer takes part in a week-long China-Russia "Joint Sea-2014" navy exercise at the East China Sea off Shanghai, China May 24, 2014 / AP

China rejected an appeal from the Obama administration earlier this month to halt “destabilizing” construction on disputed islets in the South China Sea, according to U.S. officials.

Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel urged Chinese officials to halt rapidly expanding island construction over the past several years in the disputed Spratly Islands during a visit to Beijing.

China to Increase Defense Spending

Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to announce a boost in defense spending next month, even as funding for the U.S. military remains a low priority for the Obama administration.