Every day now, in both the East and South China seas, the communist Chinese government smiles and shakes hands with their neighbors while at the same time they further encroach upon or ignore altogether their sovereign borders. As they build islands from nothing and install runways on them big enough for any military aircraft they have to land, they, at the same time, claim these islands are for other purposes than for military use. It has the entire region tense and on alert as nothing quite seems to deter them from doing whatever they want in the region. Now they are proposing to build another “non-military” structure deep under the water in the South China Sea.
Despite China’s claims, observers have seen a dramatic increase in military-related activity on the islands. They have done everything on these manmade islands from test landing large military aircraft to building radar systems that are sophisticated enough they may be able to detect incoming stealth aircraft. Not to mention it is believed that China now has anti-aircraft and long range anti-ship missiles stationed on some of these islands too.
One country who is not buying this peaceful agenda is the USA. Our aircraft routinely gather intelligence information in the area and disregard China’s territorial claims in the region with military air and sea incursions. The United States has become so leery of China’s motives that they now have two carrier battle groups in the region and military aircraft, such as B-52 bombers, are well within striking distance of the disputed territories. The presence of a new EA-18G “Growler” squadron temporarily stationed in the Philippines also gives the US the ability to mount round-the-clock offensive and defensive missions if hostilities were to erupt between the two superpowers.
So, what is this new underwater “space station” the Chinese want to start building some 10,000 feet down on the ocean floor? It is said to be a scientific study center designed to improve upon extracting minerals from the sea bed and under the ocean floor. It is an ambitious project to build, maintain and staff a facility like this to say the least. Although manned subs routinely travel to these depths, sustained inhabitation at that depth has never been done and experts say it will be tricky at best. The Chinese have been said to be so ‘gung-ho’ on building the underwater lab that they want to move up the timetable for the construction to start.
This would be a strong sign that China is more determined than ever to entrench itself in the South China Sea region and claim the vast mineral resources that are thought to be there for their own purposes. As if tensions were not high enough in the region already. What is even worse and will add to that existing tension is that it’s thought that the facility can easily be used for military purposes too.
You never really know what China is up to these days in the South China Sea, but you can be pretty sure whatever it is will be done regardless of what any other country has to say about it.
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