how Beijing is imposing its military presence in the South China Sea

Analyzed by The world, satellite images and videos taken in the South China Sea (Pacific Ocean) show China’s military expansion in this area claimed by Beijing, but which is not recognized as such by the international community.

These are uninhabited sand reefs, claimed by China, but also Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan. Despite the recommendations of the United Nations, Beijing has been asserting its territorial ambitions since 2009. And militarily occupies, in 2021, a dozen islets in the archipelagos of Spratleys and Paracels, sometimes located more than 1,000 kilometers from the Chinese coast.

An imposing military arsenal

On several of these islets, satellite images reveal an imposing military arsenal: long-range drones, warships and fighter planes, with a sufficient range of action to cover the entire disputed area, as well as the territories of neighboring countries.

The video survey of World also underlines the role of fishing boats, sometimes clustered by dozens near the reefs claimed by Beijing. Ships whose official documents from Beijing betray the real role: that of maritime militias in the service of Chinese expansion in this region. An expansion that has been firmly assumed and supported since 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping.