The following is based on a translation of a report in Chinese media:
The “On Military and War” column of news.ifeng.com published an article titled “Turning Mischief Reef into the Pearl Harbor of the South China Sea is of vital importance” on the advantages of the artificial island reclaimed there in serving as China’s forefront outpost in the South China Sea with an integrated air, sea and land garrison.
So far only 5.6 of the planned 8 square km of land have been reclaimed as the reclamation began late in January this year.
The report says the atoll there is 9 km long and 6 km wide. The lagoon on the atoll has an area of 36 square km and a depth from 20 to 30 meters, deeper than Diego Garcia, the large military base of the UK and US in the Indian Ocean.
As the waves are only 1 metre high in the lagoon on the atoll when they are higher than 20 meters outside, the lagoon provides good shelter for large warships.
Moreover, the depth of the sea 1,000 meters away from the atoll rises sharply to more than 1,000 meters. It provides an ideal berth for submarines.
The report continues that all those advantages combined, the artificial island there can be an integrated land, sea and air base of as vital importance for China in the South China Sea as Pearl Harbor is for the United States in the Pacific. It is, therefore, more important than that at Fiery Cross Reef.
The appearance of the large Jinggangshan amphibious warship at the reclamation site at Mischief Reef proves the importance China attaches to the reclamation there.
Source: news.ifeng.com “Turning Mischief Reef into the Pearl Harbor in the South China Sea is of vital importance” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the article in Chinese)
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- China continues advance into South China Sea; military base to be built on artificial island (chinadailymail.com)
- China responds to US ‘provocations’ in South China Sea by a direct challenge, increasing building on artificial islands (chinadailymail.com)
- Pentagon calls on China to stop building artificial islands in South China Sea (thetruenews.info)
- China says South China Sea island building work to be completed ‘in the upcoming days’ (theglobeandmail.com)
- China displays photos from disputed reef (irishtimes.com)
- Philippines Protesters Decry China Sea Claims (voacambodia.com)
- Artificial island in South China Sea almost finished, is ‘lawful, reasonable and justified,’ government says (vancouversun.com)