Areas being claimed by China in the South China Sea

Stories that didn’t get coverage in our national media but were trending top stories worldwide about China latest attempt to lay claims on the disputed territories in the South China Sea.

China is building island out of sands in these areas – which also being claimed by Malaysia and other South-east Asian countries. Here are some of the selected stories from New York Times, Bloomberg and even China media – South China Morning Post.

A Philippine surveillance photo shows an island that China has created on a reef among the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

New York Times – The islands have all that one could ask of a tropical resort destination: white sand, turquoise waters and sea winds.But they took shape only in the last several months, and they are already emerging as a major point of conflict in the increasingly bitter territorial disputes between China and other Asian nations.

China has been moving sand onto reefs and shoals to add several new islands to the Spratly archipelago, in what foreign officials say is a new effort to expand the Chinese footprint in the South China Sea. The officials say the islands will be able to support large buildings, human habitation and surveillance equipment, including radar.

Southwest Cay, part of the Spratly Island chain, is a small island controlled by Vietnam in the hotly contested South China Sea. Southwest Cay was taken by South Vietnam in the 1970s. Vietnam has since built a fortified inlet, an army garrison and a number of support buildings on the island.

Southwest Cay, part of the Spratly Island chain, is a small island controlled by Vietnam in the hotly contested South China Sea. Southwest Cay was taken by South Vietnam in the 1970s. Vietnam has since built a fortified inlet, an army garrison and a number of support buildings on the island.

Bloomberg – Sand, cement, wood and steel are the latest tools in China’s territorial arsenal as it seeks to literally reshape the South China Sea.

Chinese ships carrying construction materials regularly ply the waters near the disputed Spratly Islands, carrying out work that will see new islands rise from the sea, according to Philippine fishermen and officials in the area. China’s efforts are reminiscent of Dubai’s Palm resort-style land reclamation, they say.

China map of a military base in South China Sea

South China Morning Post – China is looking to expand its biggest installation in the Spratly Islands into a fully formed artificial island, complete with airstrip and sea port, to better project its military strength in the South China Sea, a Chinese scholar and a Chinese navy expert have said.

The planned expansion on the disputed Fiery Cross Reef, if approved, would be a further indication of China’s change of tack in handling long-running sovereignty disputes from a defensive stance to an offensive one, analysts said. They said it was seen as a step to the declaration of an air defence identification zone.