South China See: Satellite Images Show China’s Continued Island Building

In early August, China’s foreign minister said the country had stopped land reclamation projects in the South China Sea that were worrying neighbors and irking the U.S. With Chinese President Xi Jinping gearing up for a state visit to the U.S., a Washington-based think tank has published satellite images that cast doubt on that statement.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

A report published earlier this week by the Center for Strategic and International Studies contains high-definition photos of Chinese-controlled reefs in the disputed Spratly Islands taken in early September. The images suggest China’s island-building efforts are ongoing, and that China could soon have three airfields in the area, according to CSIS.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said this week when asked about the report that China has “indisputable sovereignty” over the islands and its works there are both for defensive needs and the public good. On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China is “building necessary projects on its own islands and reefs” but that it “does not intend to work against anyone but to improve logistical conditions and capabilities and fulfil our international obligation as the largest littoral state of the South China Sea.”

China reclaimed hundreds of acres of land at seven different reefs it occupies in the Spratlys in 2014. The U.S. and other countries in the region fear China might use the reefs as bases for military aircraft in an attempt to enforce an air-defense identification zone in the South China Sea. The U.S. has called for a moratorium on land reclamation in disputed areas as a way to reduce tensions….(read more)

Source: China Real Time Report – WSJ

– Josh Chin, with contributions from Jeremy Page. 



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