Prepping for WAR? China builds missile shelters on disputed islands despite promise to US

Sunday, July 2, 2017
By Paul Martin

CHINA has built new military facilities on disputed islands in the South China Sea – despite a promise its President made to the US government in 2015.

Sun, Jul 2, 2017

During a visit to Washington, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Barack Obama in 2015 that China would not militarise the man-made islands.

Yet in the intervening 20 months, Beijing has stepped up construction and now has runways that can accommodate Chinese fighter jets.

Over the past three months, China has reportedly built four new missile shelters on Fiery Cross, increasing the number of installations on the reef to 12.

China has also expanded radar facilities on Fiery Cross and two other disputed reefs — Subi and Mischief — in the Spratly Island chain.

The country has also started building underground structures which reportedly will be used to store munitions.

There was a two-day summit between President Xi and US President Donald Trump at the Mar-a-Lago estate in April.

Greg Poling, director of CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, said: “We haven’t seen any slowdown in construction, including since the Mar-a-Lago summit.

“The islands are built and they are clearly militarised, which means they already got over the hard part. Now every time they put in a new radar or new missile shelter, it is harder for the world to get angry. They are building a gun, they are just not putting the bullets in yet.”

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