China expands illegal construction on another East Sea reef

By Mai Thanh Hai, Thanh Nien News

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Construction work is underway on Subi Reef. Photo: Mai Thanh Hai

China is still expanding the illegal construction work on the Subi Reef, a reef in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands of the East Sea (South China Sea) located 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Thitu Island.
During a recent trip to Truong Sa several days ago, a Thanh Nien reporter spotted a number of Chinese vessels used for the dredging and the construction of the reef.

A Chinese ship tries to prevent the Vietnamese vessel from approaching the construction site on the Subi Reef. Photo: Mai Thanh Hai

When a Vietnamese vessel carrying the reporter was around 7 kilometers from the Subi Reef, a Chinese ship rushed to the site and shooed the vessel away. The chase lasted in around one hour.
China occupied the reef in late 1988. It is among the seven reefs in Truong Sa illegally occupied by China.
Soon after the occupation, China built a military base on it.
In early 2005, it built a lighthouse at the military base. In May 2012, it built a four-story building near the base.
Since late 2013, China started dredging the reef and constructed other buildings. According to some sources, it plans to expand the area of the reef from 15 square kilometers to around 20 square kilometers.

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