lørdag 27. februar 2021

Vietnam strengthens fortifications in disputed South China Sea, satellite images reveal

Vietnam has continued to beef up its outposts in the disputed South China Sea with improved fortifications and infrastructure, although the scale of its activities is modest compared to that carried out by China, according to a new report.

Emplacements for anti-aircraft and coastal defense systems have been built on reclaimed land at West Reef and Sin Cowe Island, according to the report by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, or AMTI, which is part of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

It made its assessments based on analysis of satellite imagery in cooperation with Simularity, who says on its website that its software “automatically analyzes geospatial imagery and data to automatically find and classify unusual changes.” The AMTI report added that over the last two years, “West Reef and Sin Cowe Island have seen the most drastic changes” of all of Vietnam’s outposts in the disputed Spratly Islands group, noting that most of the 70 acres of dry land at West Reef is reclaimed land, with a further 26 acres at Sin Cowe Island being similarly reclaimed.