The submarines and rivalries underneath the South China Sea

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

A tribunal is about to rule on China’s territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea. But Beijing’s desire for control is about much more than rocks above the water, argues analyst Alexander Neill. It is also central to China’s plans for a submarine nuclear force able to break out into the Pacific Ocean.
Historically, China’s national infrastructure projects have tended to be of grandiose scale – the Great Wall of China and the Three Gorges Dam are ancient and modern examples. China has now proved such a capability at sea with the imminent opening of a string of advanced military bases across the South China Sea, where just two years ago little more than rocky outcrops, sandbars and reefs dotted the region.
International attention has focused on why Beijing’s constructed these artificial islands so speedily. There is speculation that with the imminent announcement of the ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China, Beijing fast-tracked the project to create a fait accompli or a “great wall of sand”.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36574590

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail