March 21, 2016
China's Short-Term Victory In the South China Sea
The sands are quickly shifting in the South China Sea. New reports suggest that China may be preparing to conduct land reclamation at Scarborough Shoal, which is seized from the Philippines in 2012. And just weeks ago, satellite images revealed that China had installed sophisticated radar on Cuarteron Reef in the Spratly Islands and deployed two batteries of surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island in the Paracels. Further, following its rapid-fire island building, runway construction, and efforts to assert claims to new water and airspace, many experts agree that China could soon declare an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea to match the one it has already claimed in the East China Sea. This would be yet one more attempt to interfere with air traffic over the contested waters.