Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Report: China's Man-Made S. China Sea Islands Nearly Complete |

Report: China's Man-Made S. China Sea Islands Nearly Complete | A report from a U.S. think tank says China has nearly completed construction work on three man-made islands in the South China Sea, giving it the ability to deploy combat aircraft and other military assets to the disputed region.

The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies analyzed recent satellite photos and concluded that runways, aircraft hangers, radar sites and hardened surface-to-air missile shelters have either been finished or are nearing completion.

The report, released Monday, appears to be the most conclusive indication yet that China is using its island-building project to give teeth to its claim over almost the entire South China Sea and its islands and reefs.

The islands in the study -- Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross reefs -- are part of the Spratly chain, which is claimed in whole or in part by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.

On each of the islands, China has constructed enough concrete hangers for 24 fighter jets and four or five larger planes such as bombers or early warning aircraft, CSIS reported.