Speed Reads

foreign affairs

China reportedly building island big enough for airstrip in South China Sea

Satellite images purportedly showing Chinese construction of an island in the South China Sea have raised new concerns about the disputed waters, Reuters reports.

Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei all also claim the area, and the new construction could derail negotiations between the claimants. Defense publication IHS Jane's said the images show that China has built an island on the Fiery Cross Reef that is nearly two miles long and "large enough to construct a runway and apron," while an attached harbor is "large enough to receive tankers and major surface combatants."

Beijing has previously ignored calls from Washington to cease construction activity in the South China Sea.