April 10, 2015

China building fake islands to grab more territory

Brian LilleyArchive

Forget those stories of China building ghost cities that no one lives in, now the country Justin Trudeau admires for its basic dictatorship is building fake islands. 

Reporting from Subic Bay, Philippines, Postmedia reporter Matthew Fisher is documenting China's efforts as they try to exert control over much of the South China Sea.

To support part of its brazen — some might say preposterous — claim to about 85 per cent of the South China Sea, Beijing is building artificial islands on tiny outcroppings, atolls and reefs in hotly disputed waters in the Spratly Archipelago.

To do so, the Chinese have been using formidable seaborne dredges to haul up huge amounts of sand and coral from the ocean floor, and bulldozing what is brought to the surface onto at least six of the far-flung lumps of rock.

China cites ancient maps and scrolls to support its claims to this area of the South China Sea, pointing long time use by sailors and fishermen. Those same claims though are made by neighoubouring countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam. Each of those countries claims the area as part of their 200 mile exclusive zone.

As Fisher reports, there is more to China's "Great Wall of Sand" than simply grabbing territory. 

There are three clear reasons the Spratlys and the other disputed bits of rock and beach in the South China Sea such as the relatively near Paracel Islands and Scarborough Shoal are of such keen interest to so many countries. They sit atop what are thought to be a large pools of unexploited oil and gas, are surrounded by rich fishing waters and situated astride some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

China's moves are creating a lot of tension in the area, but the former naval superpower in the region, the United States, has pulled back in recent years, including from long time allies such as the Philippines. 

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commented 2015-04-10 16:42:20 -0400
China is resourceful in its expansionism. And depite its denials, it is expanding. I am glad we have strong trade relationships with China and that the rate of death penalty executions in China is dropping fast, but we really need to work on that free speech and human rights thing. Support Chinese activists to introduce democracy more and more into Chinese society. Because even more than IS and Islam, Iran, SA and Russia, China poses the greatest potential threat to freedom and democracy in the world.
commented 2015-04-10 13:16:24 -0400
it won’t work, global warming is causing rising seas, thus by the time they get it done it will be swallowed by the ocean…
commented 2015-04-10 12:00:57 -0400
Roger Foster – Thanks for my first good laugh of the day!
Richard Neufeld – My money is on NO. China doesn’t do environmental assessment or oversight because the Chinese don’t care about anyone or anything but themselves; the result of decades of Communism. Without a strong USA, the world will go to pot, especially if the likes of Trudeau have anything to do with it. The sooner Obama the Destroyer is gone, the better the world although he’s just a puppet; there are plenty more where he came from.
commented 2015-04-10 11:37:24 -0400
The islands won’t last… They’re made in China…
commented 2015-04-10 11:32:01 -0400
Wonder if this project was subject to the level of environmental oversight that Trudeau, Mulcair and Greenpeace would expect and demand of us? LOL
commented 2015-04-10 11:32:01 -0400
Wonder if this project was subject to the level of environmental oversight that Trudeau, Mulcair and Greenpeace would expect and demand of us? LOL
commented 2015-04-10 11:26:10 -0400
Reminds me of the Dutch reclaiming land from the ocean with dykes…if you like playing with the Ocean….just don’t ask me to live near any ocean after watching the tsunami in Japan!

The idea of offshore oil for China fully explains their desire to find their own source of oil…and everyone else’s as well…ripe fruit for sabotage and tragedies…
commented 2015-04-10 10:54:24 -0400
Fascinating and inventive! Can’t say the Chinese don’t think outside the box…