With neighboring countries struggling with the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Beijing is tightening its control of disputed islands in the South China Sea. During President Barack Obama’s time in office, China began a massive project of creating artificial islands in the area. These man-made islands have since been converted into military installations, naval bases, and aircraft landing strips for the Chinese military.

Beijing is now setting up fictitious local governments on these islands in a ploy to legitimize its clams over the territory, the Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported citing official sources. China stakes claim on nearly 90 percent of the waters in the area, rejecting the territorial sovereignty of many of its maritime neighbors, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan.

While the world is reeling under the human and economic cost of the Wuhan virus, Communist China is ramping up its military intimidation of its weaker rivals. In the midst of the outbreak, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) carried out several “naval and air intrusions in Taiwan and Japan,” foreign police journal The Diplomat confirmed on Friday.

Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post reported on Saturday:

Beijing has moved to tighten its grip over the South China Sea by setting up new administrative structures in the disputed waters.

The two new districts will be under the authority of the local government in Sansha, a city in the southern island of Hainan.

The new districts will govern the Paracels and Macclesfield Bank – an area claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan – as well as the Spratly Islands and their adjacent waters, where there are multiple overlapping claims.

Over the past six years China has sought to expand its control over the South China Sea by building artificial islands and facilities that can be used for military purposes. (…)

Beijing claims almost all of the area but has conflicting claims with Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. The conflict has remained unresolved for decades and has now become another flashpoint with the US.

The Chinese aggression is not limited to the South China Sea, Beijing makes territorial claims on 18 of its neighbors. These disputes are not restricted to maritime claims, but extend to the vast 2,000-mile mountainous border it shares with India. The border row reignited between the two Asian neighbors in 2017 after New Delhi accused the Chinese military of incursion into its territory.

With Beijing’s growing economic clout, many of its neighbors watch the Communist regime’s expansionist plans with great anxiety. The One Belt, One Road ­project, initiated in 2013, gives China control of roads, railways, and power grids in nearly 70 countries spread across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. The Chinese Army has acquired naval bases in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Sea under the cover of the One Belt, One Road Initiative.

While nations of the world struggle to deal with the contagion which originated in central China, Beijing is pushing ahead with a military expansion at cost to its weaker neighbors. Communist China shamelessly exploits the human suffering and economic misery it created by downplaying and covering-up the origins of the life-threatening contagion.

Philippines dispute Chinese expansion at South China Sea

[Cover image via YouTube]


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