Chinese reclamation in Mischief Reef grows a thousandfold

By on April 20, 2015


This handout photo taken on March 17, 2015 by satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe and released to AFP by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSSI) think tank shows a satellite image of vessels purportedly dredging sand at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea.  The series of satellite images posted on the website of the Center for Strategic and International Studies last week show a flotilla of Chinese vessels dredging sand onto Mischief Reef and the resulting land spreading in size. Beijing on April 9 reaffirmed its right to build on the disputed islands after the satellite imagery emerged of construction operations turning tropical reefs into concrete artificial islands. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all have overlapping claims in the area. (AFP Photo / CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative / DigitalGlobe)
This handout photo taken on March 17, 2015 by satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe and released to AFP by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSSI) think tank shows a satellite image of vessels purportedly dredging sand at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea. The series of satellite images posted on the website of the Center for Strategic and International Studies last week show a flotilla of Chinese vessels dredging sand onto Mischief Reef and the resulting land spreading in size. Beijing on April 9 reaffirmed its right to build on the disputed islands after the satellite imagery emerged of construction operations turning tropical reefs into concrete artificial islands. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all have overlapping claims in the area. (AFP Photo / CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative / DigitalGlobe)

MANILA — Chinese reclamation activities in Mischief Reef, which is only 23 nautical miles from Philippine-owned Pagasa Island, have grown more than a thousandfold.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang during his 7 a.m. press briefing Monday said Chinese reclamation activities, in the once Philippine-owned territory, started from 4,000 square-meters.

But now, that figure has grown more than a thousand-fold, causing undue worry to the AFP, as the military does not know Chinese intentions for the ongoing reclamation works.

“(It) is worrisome,” Catapang stressed.

He also stressed that while reclamation works in the disputed portion of the Spratlys are not new as Taiwan and Malaysia have conducted reclamation projects in their claimed features in the disputed island chain, these works are minor in nature as both countries have conducted it purely for tourism purposes.

Unlike China which is still to declare its goal in doing its reclamation works.