by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) March 22, 2017
China Wednesday denied plans to build an environmental monitoring station on a disputed shoal near the Philippines' coastline, after a local official last week announced the plan.
"As we have learned from relevant authorities, the report on establishing an environmental monitoring station is false. This is not true at all," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular briefing in Beijing.
The comments came after the committee secretary of China's Sansha city reportedly said his country was "continuing to carry forward early-stage work on environmental monitoring stations" on six reefs and shoals in the South China Sea including Scarborough Shoal -- which China seized from the Philippines in 2012.
The statement was deleted from the website of the provincial government, which administers China's claims to the islands, after being reported in Chinese media.
Beijing has already reclaimed large areas around several islets and reefs in the Spratly archipelago elsewhere in the South China Sea, and built airstrips and military facilities on some.
But analysts warn that building on Scarborough Shoal would radically change the situation since it is just 230 kilometres (143 miles) from the main Philippine island of Luzon.
Outposts on the shoal would put Chinese jet fighters and missiles within easy striking distance of military bases in the Philippines, some of which could host US troops.
The shoal also commands the northeast exit of the South China Sea, so a Chinese military outpost there could stop other countries' navies from using the waters.
On Sunday Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said in response to the Sansha reports that Manila could not prevent such construction because Beijing was too powerful.
"We cannot stop China from doing (these) things," Duterte told journalists.
"What do you want me to do? Declare war against China? I can't. We will lose all our military and policemen tomorrow and we (will be) a destroyed nation."
Washington (AFP) March 22, 2017
The White House confirmed Tuesday that President Donald Trump will join fellow NATO leaders for a key May summit in Brussels, as the US administration seeks to quash questions about Trump's support for the alliance. The Trump administration has been scrambling to reaffirm its commitment to Washington's military alliances - including NATO - after the Republican billionaire called into quest ... read more
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|