At a Congressional hearing, the lawmakers and Commander of the US Pacific Command also expressed concern over China’s exploitation of cyberspace for military and non-military purposes.
"China's growing presence and influence in Asia, and the opportunities and uncertainties that have resulted from it pose the greatest test for USPACOM among its seven challenge areas," said Admiral Robert Willard, Commander of the US Pacific Command.
He said "combined with broad maritime and sovereignty claims and incidents with lawful operators in the SCS and ECS, there is ongoing international concern regarding China’s activities in the South China Sea".
Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said "China's rising regional and global influence and rapid military growth, coupled with the over breadth of its claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea and its increasing propensity for challenging conflicting claims of its regional neighbours unsettles the region and raises concerns about the prospects for miscalculation".
He said there also are growing concerns about "China's exploitation of cyberspace for military and for non-military purposes such as use of the internet by Chinese entities to conduct corporate espionage".