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  • New air bases, baby cabbage key to Chinese long-term claims in South China sea

    New air bases, baby cabbage key to Chinese long-term claims in South China sea

    China is tightening its grip on disputed claims in the South China Sea by beefing up its military capability and planting the seeds of long-term habitability on the artificial islands at the core of its regional economic influence strategy.

    H/T: USNI News

    Last week, Taiwanese officials warned of the threat posed by a Chinese air defense identification zone (ADIZ), according to press reports, including an account in the South China Morning Post. China is likely years away from being able to control the region, but the leadership in Beijing continues working to establish a framework that would be necessary to eventually assert control of its claims.

    “And we do expect to see the first deployments of combat aircraft to the Spratlys sooner or later—they didn’t build 72 fighter jet hangars for nothing,” Greg Poling, a senior fellow for Southeast Asia and the director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told USNI News.. “But it is still hard to see how they could actually enforce the ADIZ—it would be an enormous undertaking to actually maintain air power out there without it rusting away in the conditions.”

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