Pretty simple, eh? Further to this post,
we find this at Defense One’s “D-Brief” (note third airstrip):
A defiant Chinese admiral told a crowd in London that the South China Sea “belongs to China,” Defense One‘s Marcus Weisgerber reports from the Defence & Security Equipment International, or DSEI, conference, which gathers military leaders from around the world [website here].
“In a rare appearance together, American and Chinese admirals sat alongside one another to present their views on maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region…There was political theater and a few one-liners, as the panel remained cordial and the admirals were all smiles during handshakes before and after. But the tension was real and the messages direct,” Weisgerber writes.
“The South China Sea, as the name indicated, is a sea area. It belongs to China,” said Vice Adm. Yuan Yubai, who commands the North Sea Fleet for the People’s Liberation Army Navy. Yubai went on to say he was “firmly convinced” South China Sea disputes could be “solved with the joint efforts and consultation of the hosting countries around the South China Sea.”
But Japanese Vice Adm. Umio Otsuka was less sanguine, flagging the issue of commercial fishing fleets being used as maritime militia to defend reclaimed islands. “This may provoke, sooner or later, a debate how the conflict between military and maritime militia, if any, should be handled,” he said. Read the rest, here [more on Japan: “Rising Sun’s Yen for Defence Spending, FY 2016-17 Section“].
New imagery appears to show China is building its third airstrip in the contested waters of the South China Sea, Reuters reports. “The images show a retaining wall around an area 3,000 meters (3,280 yards) long, matching similar work by China on two other reefs in the Spratlys, Subi and Fiery Cross, said Greg Poling, director of [the Center for Strategic and International Studies’] Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.” Read the rest from Reuters here, or keep tabs on CSIS’s observations around Mischief Reef right here [see also: “Dragon Re-Writing International Law for South China Sea“]…