This video shows you that China Has Nearly Conquered The South China Sea.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s rapprochement with China, a gambit that has traded security concessions for economic and investment largesse, has once again been undermined by developments in the South China Sea.
Undisclosed sources, most likely from the Philippine defense establishment, gave the Philippine Daily Inquirer a new cache of satellite images which show China has virtually completed its militarization of the artificially-created islands it controls in the contested maritime area. The high-resolution photos were published on the liberal newspaper’s website on Monday.
Last year, defense establishment sources handed satellite imagery of suspicious Chinese activity close to Philippine-controlled Thitu Island, also in the South China Sea, to members of the opposition and the media. Those photos, too, raised questions about Duterte’s accommodation with China.
The latest aerial footage shows a sprawling network of runways, advanced weaponries and storage facilities across Philippine-claimed land features in the Spratly Islands, namely on the Fiery Cross, Cuerteron, Gaven, Johnson South, Mischief, Subi and McKennan reefs.
As one prominent Chinese academic from Xiamen University’s Southeast Asian Studies Center told the ultra-nationalist Global Times newspaper, “China has the right to build whatever it needs within its territory” in the South China Sea.
Earlier this year, Beijing openly celebrated its expanding military footprint across disputed land features, having reclaimed as much as 290 square meters to augment its already large artificial islands. China admitted that it has deployed advanced radar systems to the area, a supposedly reasonable move for defensive purposes.
The news of Chinese fait accompli in militarizing the features immediately unlashed a firestorm in the Philippines, with prominent statesmen prodding the government to take a tougher stance.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, a leading national voice on South China Sea issues, lambasted the Duterte administration’s “policy of appeasement”, which has further “embolden[ed] China to further militarize its artificial islands in the Spratlys.”
“Has the Philippines been sold? It’s worrisome to see that China’s military bases are almost complete in the [South China Sea],” lamented Senator Benigno Aquino IV, a relative of former president Aquino and a leading voice of opposition.
“While their warships are in our seas, we continue to give in to their whims and, all the while, we are kept in the dark as to our government’s dealings with China,” the senator complained. Previous President Benigno Aquino III confronted China and drew closer to the US for strategic assurances.
Congressman Carlos Isagani Zarate, member of the left-leaning bloc in the lower house of Congress, lambasted the “inaction and deafening silence” of the Duterte administration. He called on the government to end its “see-no-evil; speak-no-evil; hear-no-evil” approach to what he views as “blatant violation of our sovereignty” by China.
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EDM Detection Mode by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)