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Will China Begin Scarborough Shoal Reclamation After Hague Verdict on South China Sea?

Image Credit: NASA Landsat via Wikimedia Commons

Posted on April 26, 2016

By Ankit Panda, The Diplomat

China appears determined to begin land reclamation activities at Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. According to a report published Monday by the South China Morning Post citing a “source close to the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) Navy,” China will begin dredging activities there later this year and may ultimately add another airstrip in the South China Sea.

“Beijing will take action to carry out land reclamation at Huangyan (the Chinese name for Scarborough Shoal) Island within this year,” the source told SCMP. “China should regain the initiative to do so because Washington is trying to contain Beijing by establishing a permanent military presence in the ­region,” the source added, echoing the Chinese government’s official position that U.S. Navy activities in the South China Sea, including freedom of navigation operations, patrols, and drills with regional states are contributing to militarization of the area. It is unclear if the source who spoke to the SCMP is an active member of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) or an independent analyst who studies maritime affairs in China.


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