China continued land reclamation in sea despite ‘halt’: expert

China was carrying out land reclamation in contested waters of the South China Sea this month, more than four weeks after saying it had stopped such activity, a US expert said Tuesday, citing recent satellite images.

The evidence of continued dredging in the Spratly archipelago could complicate a visit to the United States by Chinese President Xi Jinping next week, when US concerns about China’s assertive pursuit of territorial claims in Asia are expected to be high on the agenda. Continue reading

Satellite photos show China reclaiming land around disputed Mischief Reef

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Newly published satellite images show that China is quickly reclaiming land around a submerged reef within what the Philippines says is its exclusive economic zone, with several dredgers in operation and seawalls built.

The work on Mischief Reef is China’s most recent reclamation in the disputed Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea. Reclamation is well advanced on six other reefs in the Spratlys, Reuters reported in February, activities that have alarmed other claimants and drawn criticism from Washington. Continue reading