Adm. Philip Davidson, the most likely successor to the rogue Commander of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, said China currently has the ability to "control the South China Sea in all pre-war scenarios with the United States"
. Senate Armed Services Committee last week urged Davidson for the US to assert its presence in the region, said China "will be able to influence its thousands of miles to the south and project power deep into Oceania," once the man-made islands, The created nation is occupied, the Asia Times reported.
"The PLA will be able to use these bases to challenge US presence in the region, and all forces deployed to the islands would easily overpower the forces of other applicants in the South China Sea," Davidson wrote. "In short, China is now able to control the South China Sea in all scenarios where there is no war with the United States."
underscores Davidson's commitment to "maintain a robust, dull layer that effectively shields Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific," Harris warned in front of Congress in February about China's strength in the region.
"China's impressive military buildup could soon challenge the United States in almost every area," Harris told Congress. "China's intent is crystal clear, we ignore it at our peril."
Davidson also advocated renewing the US military arsenal and investing in technology to better compete with China.
President Donald Trump tapped Harris to become the next US Ambassador to Australia, but new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was reportedly planning to relocate the top US military commander in the Pacific to South Korea, news.com reported. au.  Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed Wednesday morning that Harris will go to South Korea, the branch reported. Reigning US Secretary of State John Sullivan told Bishop that finding a substitute for Harris was a priority.