The 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) recently met in the Philippines and were “unanimous in their expression of concern about what they see as a militarization of the region” (Reuters, February 21, 2017). “Referring to China’s manmade islands in the Spratly archipelago, Yasay [Philippine Foreign Secretary] said ASEAN countries had ‘noticed, very unsettlingly, that China has installed weapons systems in these facilities that they have established, and they have expressed strong concern about this’” (ibid.). Many Asian-Pacific nations worry about China’s increasing military buildup in the Pacific and the increased U.S. military presence in the region.
Exactly how ASEAN may influence China’s military efforts remains to be seen. However, China appears destined to play a key role in major end-time world events. Bible prophecies refer to a huge army from the East that will attack a European army that has moved into the Middle East (Revelation 9:13-18; 16:12). The current unrest among ASEAN nations may diminish as hostility toward the West helps them coalesce in a unified cause. For more on the future of China, read or listen to “Is This China’s Century?”