China turns reef into artificial island

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A remote archipelago in the South China Sea has come under an extraordinary amount of scrutiny lately. Here, China is building up small reefs and atolls into whole artificial islands—all in hotly disputed territory. In the clearest sign yet of its military intentions, one of those islands now has an airstrip.

Satellite images taken on March 23 and first published by IHS Jane show the evolution of Fiery Cross Reef, one of the many blips that make up the Spratly Islands. Just a few months ago, Fiery Cross Reef was, true to its name, a submerged reef just barely poking above the water. Since then, dredging has turned it into an artificial island. It is now has a harbor and and a runway in progress.



The 10,000-foot runway would be long enough for fighter jets and spy planes, according to the New York Times, which calls it a “game changer.” Once China has air control of the South China Sea, it’ll be much have a lot more power in the region.

This all matters because at least five countries lay claim to various parts of the South China. The disputed waters hold valuable shipping routes and huge oil and gas reserves. China has been eager to exert its dominance by building up multiple reefs into islands to bolster its claim. And now that it’s clearly readying it’s military. [IHS Jane, New York Times]
 
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It is interesting how they are doing it and this is disputed as well, and how they are building islands in the reef and also this will be be in trouble as well. China is doing what it wants to do and don't think about the consequences in doing so and it is going to be interesting to see what happens later on. They have the manpower and also, resources that they can be useful and able to do this and as they are a powerful country they can have the courage to do this.
 
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We're gonna have a hell of a mess on our hands soon. All the tension and muscle flexing is going to blow up, and the weapons we have now means we're all gonna blow up with it.
 
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This is not looking good at all when it comes to the environment. I don't know why people keep on distrubing nature and its natural look. I'm not sure if they are thinking when they thought of this idea.
 
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Reminds me of Japan when they constructed an Airport out in the middle of the ocean.

This is a military staging point. Make no mistake about that. Tension will rise and look for other countries to start building up their military in that region.
 

adfnio

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A massive build up indeed. It is a military installation. Just like how the USA is building up in the Philippine in Zambales. Things will get worse as China begins to bully other countries around in the area.
 
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China is really fond of usurping territories. They're turning the reef into an artificial island like they own it. Well, they can do that but that still won't make their claims legitimate. I hope we can settle this issue amicably but it seems China's still bent on boasting their power.
 
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Interesting to see how these archipelagos in the South China Sea such as the Spratly Islands are quite steadily gaining recognition and becoming more and more areas of military and political concern. The quiet conquest of territories China views as its own and has subsumed into its folds through military occupation hasn't exactly gone unnoticed, Tibet being the classic and loudest example that resonated throughout the world. But with the size of it's military and its possession of islands such as the one mentioned in the article allowing effective military and thus state control over the adjacent islands, how is anyone supposed to stop them and move them off the disputed land? We could end up with another Gaza strip scenario- neither side giving ground and a violent dispute lasting decades.