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According to the report, China “is building substantial new islands on five different reefs.” Wingfield-Hayes notes that no one is certain what China plans to do with the new islands. The Philippine government has expressed concerns that one, Johnson South Reef, will be the home to a new South China Sea airbase. However, it’s equally possible that China plans to install civilian populations on the new islands to bolster its sovereignty claims. China, the Philippines, and Vietnam all maintain small civilian outposts in the South China Sea as a way of legitimizing their claims (and deterring military actions by other claimants).
When asked about the BBC report, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying reiterated China’s position that “China’s activities on relevant islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands fall entirely within China’s sovereignty and are totally justifiable.” When pressed on the purpose of the construction, Hua said that the work was “mainly for the purpose of improving the working and living conditions of people stationed on these islands.”
What followed was a shockingly testy exchange for a Chinese press conference. A reporter fired back at Hua: “Given the fact that those islands China works on are new islands, there is no way that construction on them is for improving the living conditions of inhabitants on those them. What are the true purpose and intention of China for doing this? [all sic]” Hua’s response was both short and unenlightening: “I have already answered your question.”
originally posted by: Kukri
a reply to: onequestion
Good point onequestion and when you read about the "thousand year plan" you get an idea of how committed the Chinese are to fulfilling their goals. Something the West has no concept of as we are lucky to be able to conceive a "ten day plan".