China is building missile sites in one of the contested islands in the South China Sea, while the U.S. stares eye-to-eye with North Korea. The move generated a huge cause for concern, especially with South Korea, Taiwan and countries affected by China's expansionist policy.

What is the danger posed by China's missile sites?

According to a U.S. think tank report, the missile site constructions in islands within the South China Sea, namely the Spratlys, Subi, Fiery Cross and Mischief reefs will give China the upper hand in the region. These missile sites, which will be China's counterpart to America's THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) system, will solidify China's expansion into the region.

Allowing China to complete these bases will hamper U.S. operations in Asia. The influence provided by American presence may also diminish, forcing pro-U.S. countries to join China's sphere.The United States had strong interests in the area both strategically and economically and Beijing strengthening its grasp of the region will greatly affect current U.S. policies in Asia.

The event that may have enhanced Beijing's expansion policy was the 360-degree turn of the Philippines from overly supportive of American policies to warming up dramatically to China's regime. This sudden flip may have given China that window of opportunity to rapidly fortify and set up missiles sites in this highly contested region.

How will the United States and its allies react to this?

The United States had made its share of political maneuverings with South East Asian nations. Its ties with the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia are still strong, though dramatically lessened from what is was one to two decades ago. The only thing that continues to be a major deterrent to China completely claiming the entire South China Sea is America's powerful navy, centered on a flotilla of nuclear-powered supercarriers.

Aside from the active checking of Chinese military buildup by the United States, South Korea, and Japan are also stepping up their defense in the area. Japan, in particular, have started a somewhat limited rearmament despite its highly anti-militaristic constitution framed after World War 2. South Korea is also continuing its military drills with the United States despite continued protests coming from Pyongyang and Beijing.

The U.S. Department of Defense said that China's fortification of recently claimed islands in the South China Sea doesn't enforce its claim over the region and only shows Beijing's aggression against neighboring countries in the area.