The following is a translation from Chinese media:
In addition to the artificial islands China has been building on Johnson South Reef, Cuarteron Reef, Hughes Reef, Mckennan Reef, Gaven Reef, Eldad Reef, Fiery Cross Reef and Mischief Reef, China has also been building artificial islands on one more reef – the Subi Reef in the South China Sea. It has rapidly reclaimed 1.8 square km of land there.
No airstrips are found on the recent photos of the artificial islands. It proves that the islands, though they can be used as military bases, are now to serve as fishery, fish farming, energy exploitation and tourism bases.
For military purposes, it is not necessary to build so many large artificial islands.
Judging by the large number of Chinese tourists to Phuket and islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, those artificial islands will be good holiday resorts for Chinese tourists. They will attract Chinese investment in hotels, restaurants and other tourism facilities and even holiday villas. When those islands have become prosperous, people will be willing to stay there to engage in fishery, fish farming and oil and gas exploitation.
The islands certainly could be military bases, but there is no need to build military bases there now, as so far there is no military threat.
Ted Laguatan, a San Francisco based human rights lawyer and California State Bar Certified Immigration Law expert, did publish an article “Destroy Chinese military bases in South China Sea now, says Philippines” calling for a war in the South China Sea to destroy Chinese military bases there, but who would dare attack China’s artificial islands now?
First, there are no Chinese military bases there yet. Even if there were, who would dare attack China? The Philippines, Vietnam or Japan? Will they give China the opportunity to take back the islands claimed by China and occupied by them in the South China and East China Seas? Are they strong enough to attack China without US support?
Are American people willing to shed there soldiers’ blood to take islands for another country? Ted Laguatan is but an immigration law expert without political or military common sense.
The Philippines, Vietnam and even the US will not be able to stop China’s exploitation of the natural and tourism resources through the artificial islands.
It seems unreasonable, as air transportation is indispensable for those islands even if they are used for civil purposes.
China is developing a large amphibious aircraft that does not need an airstrip to land. Moreover, China has developed large ground effect vehicles similar to the Soviet Caspian Monster, with a maximum speed of 500 km/hour for much cheaper, but a little slower, travel to those islands.
Source: qianzhan.com – “Sudden Acceleration of China’s expansion of islands: Two more pieces of land have been reclaimed” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
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- What is China Building in the South China Sea? (bellingcat.com)
- Philippines demands China stop maritime land reclamation (wantchinatimes.com)
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- Testing Beijing, Japan eyes growing role in South China Sea security (straitstimes.com)
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