South China Sea: artificial-island building accelerates to fill in holes on atolls

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China has responded to an international outcry over its construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea by accelerating the building program, according to analysis of the latest aerial surveillance.

Australia, the United States and most recently the G7 group of rich nations have all warned China to stop its frenetic sand-dredging activities, fearing that it is creating airstrips, ports and battlements that will dramatically alter the balance of regional military power. Continue reading

South China Sea: Australia raises alarm over possible Chinese military build-up on contested Spratly Islands

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Defence Minister Kevin Andrews has joined the United States and other nations in opposing China’s large-scale land reclamation in the South China Sea.

Satellite imagery shows at least one former atoll in the contested Spratly Islands is now home to a Chinese harbour and a runway is also under construction.

Mr Andrews told a security conference in Singapore that Australia was concerned about any military build-up on the artificial islands in the area believed to be home to oil and gas reserves. Continue reading