Published Date : Dec 08, 2015
The satellite images of construction activities in the South China Sea indicate that the Chinese government has commenced construction on three new airstrikes in proximity to the Spratly and Paracel Islands, which will quadruple China’s presence in the maritime territory of high dispute.
As per a news released by the Associated Press, construction has commenced what appears to be a new three dimensional jet landing strips on the Spratly Islands, claimed by China as well as the Philippines. In this regard, the Chinese military has completed construction of an operational landing strip on the Woody Island, which is situated in the Paracel Islands, and is claimed by Vietnam as well. As noted by the Associated Press, the satellite image indicate that at the construction of the artificial islands is nearly complete, which gives the green signal for the construction of harbors, buildings, and most importantly runways to begin.
China proclaims to have sovereignty over major parts of the South China Sea, a profitable seaway contested by Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, and Brunei. Other than China, the other contending nations have shared the territory to exploit the natural resources, especially fishing, fuel deposits, and also for using the seaway for transportation.
As per China’s declaration, that the nation has inherited the islands from their ancestors, and this disallows other nations to freely transit in this water body, which has raised significant alarm not only among the South Asian neighbors =, but internationally.
Of all, it is the statesman of the Defense Ministry’s spokesman that is of most concern in the AP report, who told that the military construction on the Spratly islands was intended purely for defensive purposes. This in in contradiction to the previous statements made by the Chinese government that any of the construction that China is carrying out in the region will be used for military purposes.