To make this website work, we log user data. By using Shephard's online services, you agree to our Privacy Policy, including cookie policy.

Open menu Search

PLA ‘sand castles’ in the South China Sea have vulnerabilities (Opinion)

10th November 2022 - 01:12 GMT | by The Geobukseon in Indo-Pacific


A satellite image of Subi Reef, which China turned into an air and naval base. It is just 24km southwest of Philippine-occupied Thitu Island. (Image: Google Earth)

China has a formidable-looking set of military bases on reclaimed reefs in the Spratly and Paracel Islands, but it could be that they have feet of clay/sand.

Adm Philip Davidson, former head of the US Indo-Pacific Command, warned in a 2018 congressional testimony, ‘In short, China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.’

He was referring to China’s militarisation of 20 outposts in the Paracel Islands (of which Woody Island is the largest) and another seven in the more southerly Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

In 2015, Chairman Xi Jinping promised former US President Barak Obama that China would not militarise Spratly reefs that once barely protruded above the surface of the sea,

Already have an account? Log in

Want to keep reading this article?

Read this Article

Get access to this article with a Free Basic Account

  • Original curated content, daily across air, land and naval domains
  • 2 free stories per week
  • Personalised news alerts
  • Daily and weekly newsletters
Create account

Unlimited Access

Access to all our premium news as a Premium News 365 Member. Corporate subscriptions available.

  • Original curated content, daily across air, land and naval domains
  • 14-day free trial (cancel at any time)
  • Unlimited access to all published premium news
Start your free trial
The Geobukseon


The Geobukseon

Cracking open the hard shell of defence and security policy within the Asia Pacific , The Geobukseon …

Read full bio

Share to