US asks China to stop building Spratlys island which could host airfield

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China is building a massive island in the South China Sea that could host an airfield in an area where Beijing is locked in bitter territorial disputes with neighbouring states, a US military spokesman said Friday.

The vast land reclamation project on the Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands, known in China as Yongshu Reef, is one of several pursued by China but the first that could accommodate an airstrip, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Pool said.

A harbour also has been dug out on the east side of the reef that appears large enough for tankers and naval warships. Continue reading