Beijing, Dec 25: Chi expanded the area of islands occupied by it in the South Chi Sea in 2017 and constructed radar facilities, hangars among others in an area covering 290,000 square metres, an official report said.
Chi tightens grip over South Chi Sea in 2017, expands islands
Chi, which claims almost 90 percent of the energy-rich South Chi Sea and is locked in a dispute with other littoral states, also stepped up its military presence in the hotly-contested waters.
Its construction projects in the South Chi Sea region covered about 290,000 square meters in 2017, including new facilities for underground storage, administrative buildings, and large radars, according to a report released on nhai.haiwainet.cn, a website jointly run by the tiol Marine Data and Information Service and the People’s Daily Overseas Edition. The report added that Chi has reasobly expanded the area of South Chi Sea Islands, in order to enhance military defense capability within its sovereign scope and improve the lives of people living on the islands. Maritime trade worth $5 trillion passed through the South Chi Sea where Chi, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietm, the Philippines, and Taiwan have overlapping claims.
Experts say the North Korean nuclear crisis has proved to be a blessing in disguise for Chi as it has kept the US busy and took its attention off Beijing’s military build-up and land reclamation in the disputed islands in the past year. (IANS)