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Satellite photos hints at Chinese runway in Spratly Islands

Satellite photos hints at Chinese runway in Spratly Islands

Taipei, March 12 (CNA) New satellite photos that have recently emerged on China's Guancha Syndicate (????) website showed that constructions for a runway has begun on Fiery Cross Reef (???), the largest island claimed by China in the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea. According to the website, China has made tremendous progress in its land reclamation efforts in the disputed remote archipelago. Augmented by newly created landfill, the surface area of Fiery Cross Reef has now expanded to about 2.2 square kilometers. In addition, the satellite photos showed that the tidal pool on the reef have is shrinking rapidly as a result of the land reclamation. Most notably, satellite photos showed a clearly defined rectangular-shaped patch on the reef, which is believed to be the beginnings of a runway. On its actions in the disputed archipelago, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (??) said on March 8 that it is within China's rights to administer its sovereign territories, and that China will not accept meddling by other nations on what it does in "its own backyard." "China's land reclamation and construction activities are fueling greater anxiety within the region about China's intentions amid concerns they may militarize outposts on disputed land features in the South China Sea." said Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State on March 9 during a daily press briefing. Meanwhile, Liu Feng (??), a Chinese scholar on ocean and territorial politics said in an interview on March 10 that China's construction efforts in the archipelago was designed to enhance the country's capability in search and rescue missions, and that China's activities in its own sovereign territory was not aimed at "raising tensions" in the region. (By Yin Chun-chieh and Ted Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-18 10:57 GMT+08:00