Paracels build-up a pointer to China's broader South China Sea ambitions




 
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Paracels build-up a pointer to China's broader South China Sea ambitions
 
February 21st, 2016  
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Topic: Paracels build-up a pointer to China's broader South China Sea ambitions


Paracels build-up a pointer to China's broader South China Sea ambitions
By Greg Torode and Megha Rajagopalan HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) - From listening posts to jet fighter deployments and now surface-to-air missiles, China's expanding facilities in the Paracel Islands are a signal of long-term plans to strengthen its military reach across the disputed South China Sea. Diplomats and security experts in contact with Chinese military strategists say Beijing's moves to arm and expand its long-established holdings in the Paracels will likely be replicated on its man-made islands in the more contentious Spratly archipelago, some 500 kms (300 miles) further south. Eventually, both disputed island groups are expected be used for jet fighter operations and constant surveillance, including anti-submarine patrols, while also housing significant civilian populations in a bid to buttress China's sovereign claims.




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