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Range arcs depicting potential coverage of HQ-9 SAMs, YJ-62 ASCMs, and DF-21 ballistic missiles from China’s larger South China Sea island bases.
Thomas Shugart, War On the Rocks: China's Artificial Islands Are Bigger (And A Bigger Deal) Than You Think
Surely you have heard the news — China has been dredging up coral reefs and creating artificial islands in the South China Sea with the purpose of enforcing their claims to “indisputable sovereignty” of their “Nine Dash Line”, and has defiantly continued to do so in the face of legal condemnation by the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration. While the reactions of the United States and other nations to China’s island-building campaign have been vocal, some U.S. analysts and experts have been largely dismissive of the new islands’ potential effects on the regional balance of power. A recent RAND study stated:
[T]hese facilities could host a handful of SAMs and fighter aircraft…[but] they are unlikely to be a significant factor in high-intensity military operations against U.S. forces beyond the first hours of a conflict.
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WNU Editor: If this analysis is correct .... China has already achieved their objective of being the undisputed power in the South China Sea, and to now have the means to impose and enforce restrictions on anyone travelling through this region (by boat or air).