China could begin reclamation in disputed Scarborough Shoal as early as next month


JUDGING by fresh reports, China won’t be folding to stern threats over the South China Sea any time soon.
In a bold move that would be sure to raise tensions, the emerging superpower may be ramping up its attempt to reclaim the Scarborough Shoal, a key disputed territory in the area.
On the weekend, the South China Morning Post reported that the country could begin reclamation work in the shoal as early as next month.

The report said there would be no major developments until after the G20 summit next month, but that construction may begin before the US presidential election in November.
A source, who requested anonymity, said: “Since the G20 will be held in Hangzhou next month, and regional peace will be the main topic among leaders of the great powers, China will refrain from (acting on the) reclamation plan.”

In other words, Beijing could take provocative action anywhere between September 6 and November 8, the date of the US election, in a move that would almost certainly exacerbate ongoing tensions with the US.

The timing strategically makes sense, as it’s likely the country would not wish to risk exacerbating tensions at the prestigious G20 summit.