PHOTOGRAPH. from http://amti.csis.org (which has stunning interactive maps and Pacific studies)
NEW YORK TIMES
What China Has Been Building in the South China Sea
By DEREK WATKINS July 31, 2015
China has been feverishly piling sand onto reefs in the South China Sea for the past year, creating seven new islets in the region. It is straining geopolitical tensions that were already taut.
The speed and scale of China’s island-building spree have alarmed other countries with interests in the region. China announced in June that the creation of islands — moving sediment from the seafloor to a reef — would soon be completed. “The announcement marks a change in diplomatic tone, and indicates that China has reached its scheduled completion on several land reclamation projects and is now moving into the construction phase,” said Mira Rapp-Hooper, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington research group. So far China has built port facilities, military buildings and an airstrip on the islands. The installations bolster China’s foothold in the Spratly Islands, a disputed scattering of reefs and islands in the South China Sea more than 500 miles from the Chinese mainland.
The new islands allow China to harness a portion of the sea for its own use that has been relatively out of reach until now. Although there are significant fisheries and possible large oil and gas reserves in the South China Sea, China’s efforts serve more to fortify its territorial claims than to help it extract natural resources, Dr. Rapp-Hooper said. The islands are too small to support large military units but will enable sustained Chinese air and sea patrols of the area. The United States has reported spotting Chinese mobile artillery vehicles in the region, and the islands could allow China to exercise more control over fishing in the region.
The Chinese were relative latecomers to island building in the Spratly archipelago, and “strategically speaking, China is feeling left out,” said Sean O’Connor, principal imagery analyst for IHS Jane’s. Still, China’s island building has far outpaced similar efforts in the area, unsettling the United States, which sees about $1.2 trillion in annual bilateral trade go through the South China Sea. At the end of May, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter criticized China’s actions in the region.
Derek’s complete report can be read HERE.
Our world is poised on the precipice of disaster both at home and abroad. We have been kept pretty much in the dark by mainstream on all of it. Yet our President and congress are dicking around reducing military, wasting tax dollars, encouraging unfettered open immigration to our shores, destroying the strength and faith of citizens, and pushing us further down a path toward worldwide war from which no country will be immune.
TPP is a BAD deal especially given the South China Sea. Yet congress has allowed unprecedented control by Obama the deceiver. Obumple’s deliberate Iran capitulation is a BAD deal. Yet congress only slaps Obama’s hand. Anything over the years that Obama has mentioned, joked, or gone before the public on is guaranteed to have been planned and executed for the greatest destructive results possible to our country.