China to build on disputed Scarborough Shoal this year: Report

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Chinese surveillance ships are seen off Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea

 

Beijing will start construction this year on a South China Sea islet within the Philippines’ claimed exclusive economic zone as it seeks to project its power in the disputed waters, Hong Kong media reported Monday.

China will establish an outpost on Scarborough Shoal, 230 kilometres (143 miles) off the Philippine coast, the South China Morning Post newspaper cited an unnamed source close to the People’s Liberation Army as saying.

Beijing claims nearly all the strategically vital sea, despite competing claims from several Southeast Asian neighbors, and in recent months it has developed contested reefs into artificial islands, some topped with airstrips. Continue reading