BBC Chinese recently reported that, according to documents that the U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) published, China continued its expansion of the construction of artificial islands and the military facilities on the islands in the South China Sea. CSIS also released clear satellite photos that show new ammunition depots, aircraft hangars, and radar. The latest equipment effectively made these islands China’s most advanced military bases. For the time being, the facilities are mostly unused; CSIS described them as proof of “slow development of crisis.” It also pointed out that the radar systems are a highlight because they are sufficient enough to monitor “everything in the region.” China dismissed the CSIS “criticism” as “making a big fuss over a minor move,” which was solely for the purpose of self-defense. China also announced that, in 2019, it will launch three optical satellites to establish 24-hour monitoring over the South China Sea.
Source: BBC Chinese, December 19, 2017