NY Times The photographs, released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, show preparation for airfields on Mischief Reef and Subi Reef, submerged reefs in the contested Spratly Islands that China has transformed into islands, according to the center. By JANE PERLEZ
airstrip on Mischief Reef is about 20 miles from a small Philippine
military garrison on an existing tiny island and will put the
installation under great pressure, said James Hardy, Asia-Pacific editor
of IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly.
airstrip will most likely be used for turboprop patrol, but it could
easily be equipped for “full military action” if needed, Mr. Hardy said.
The most important function of the strip, he said, will be as yet
another site for Chinese listening devices and early warning radar, much
like the technology being installed on Woody Island in the Paracel
Islands of the South China Sea, which are also contested. Evidence of
that will probably appear soon on Mischief Reef, he said.
completed a 10,000-foot runway several months ago on Fiery Cross
Island, one of five artificial islands it has created in a large
reclamation project in the South China Sea this year.
South China Sea is one of the top areas of disagreement between China
and the United States that will be discussed during a state visit by
President Xi Jinping to Washington next week.'