In another show of force, China
built a farm on an island in the disputed South China Sea,
Defense One reports.
What was originally a sparse
area, the Fiery Cross Reef, or Yongshu Island, is now a
2.74 square kilometer land mass boasting a farm,
lighthouses, a tourist
resort, and hospital.
Defense One reports that the farm contains a
vegetable garden, fish pond, and around 500 livestock to include
chicken, pigs and geese.
Territorial claims from Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the
Philippines, Taiwan, and China make the South China Sea one of
the most disputed territories on the planet.
author and the chief
geopolitical analyst for Stratfor,
he South China Sea
functions as the throat of the Western Pacific and Indian oceans
– the mass of connective economic tissue where global sea routes
“More than half of the world’s annual merchant fleet
tonnage passes through these choke points, and a third of all
maritime traffic worldwide,” Kaplan wrote in “Asia’s Cauldron: The
South China Sea and the End of a Stable
Meanwhile, China claims the majority of the contested
region, which is home to $5 trillion in annual global
Although China is rapidly
developing a military presence in the South
China Sea, it also seems to be taking this two-pronged approach
to legitimizing its ownership of the contested area – that is,
putting forth the argument that it has developed a fledgling
civilian population that is now able to sustain itself.
By providing evidence that their
intentions for the island had been purely for peaceful purposes,
they could make the persuasive argument that any encroachment, or
even a threat to its sovereignty could be an addressable
grievance by not just China, but by the rest of the UN.
So yeah, stay tuned.