Satellite reveals Chinese military build-up in South China Seas

Satellite reveals Chinese military build-up in South China Seas

In a rather very tense and disputed area of the South China Sea, satellite photos reveal that China has made important advances into building military outposts. The Pentagon released this information back in May. Their report also revealed that China had added over 3,200 acres over the past two years.

"China continues to invest in military programs and weapons designed to improve power projection, anti-access area denial and operations in emerging domains such as cyberspace, space and the electromagnetic spectrum," Abraham Denmark, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, said back then.

China has excavated deep channels to improve communications with outposts, created artificial harbors, and several other military constructions.  The Pentagon has warned that this expansion will increase China´s long-term presence in the area.

Just a few days ago, images released by Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative and the Center for Strategic and International Studies showed that military structures are being built n Fiery Cross, Subi, and Mischief reefs. The structures include hangars and some mysterious hexagonal structure paired with three towers.

According to the report, this site is projected to house 24 fighter jets and three or four larger aircraft, meaning that the three artificial islands in the South China Sea’s Spratley Islands will be holding Beijin’s force of 70 combat aircraft.  The AMTI/CSIS report suggests that the work is designed to stand any attack as the hangars are reinforced.

The purpose of the three hexagonal structures remain a mystery. Some have speculated that they might be some kind of radar. This will pose a great problem to the USA which has based its aircraft spying activity on stealth aircraft. 

Beijing has always responded to accusations by stating that the constructions are of civilian nature, which seems to contradict the evidence.  The hangars, however, are very unlikely to be built with civilian, and not military, purpose. 

 

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