05 December 2020
China’s sweeping communications network in the Spratlys will have a decisive role to play in Beijing’s crisis management plans to deal with its increasing tensions with the US in the South China Sea, according to military reports and analysts. Several scenarios under consideration in Beijing feature the seven artificial islands which cover about 1,300 hectares (3,200 acres) of coral reefs in the disputed Spratly archipelago. Dr Collin Koh, a Research Fellow at the Maritime Security Programme at the RSIS said the role of the Spratlys outposts would be as significant multipliers for the PLA in times of both peace and possible conflict. “In times of conflict, these outposts serve as ISR targeting nodes that help extend the PLA’s projection of kinetic military power further afield, beyond the South China Sea – most pertinently into the open maritime domain of the western Pacific Ocean,” he said.
Last updated on 07/12/2020