China has created a series of man-made islands in an area of the South China sea claimed by multiple nations, including the Philippines and Taiwan. Those islands had already been equipped with runways suitable for military traffic and with barracks for troops. Now they are getting weaponry.
China appears to have installed anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapons on its man-made islands in the strategically vital South China Sea, a U.S. security think tank says, upping the stakes in what many see as a potential Asian powder keg.
The United States joined most of China’s neighbors in protesting the construction of the islands, but China now has bases positioned all around critical shipping lanes in the region.
As Donald Trump blunders into the decades long standoff between Taiwan and China without concern for the policies that have long maintained a tense peace in the region, China may already be reacting by preparing for a conflict that goes beyond exchange of diplomatic notes.
China's new island armaments "show that Beijing is serious about defense of its artificial islands in case of an armed contingency in the South China Sea," CSIS experts wrote in the report.