A photo taken from a military plane shows China's alleged ongoing reclamation at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands. Beijing’s campaign of island building in the South China Sea might soon quadruple the number of airstrips available to the PLA in the highly contested region. Photo: AP

Is the US gearing up for a direct challenge to Beijing’s sovereignty claims in the South China Sea?

Mark Valencia says a follow-up freedom of navigation operation by the US Navy may well happen soon, but Washington must take into account the legal and political implications, as well as Beijing’s reaction to any ‘provocation’

Topic |   South China Sea: Analysis

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A photo taken from a military plane shows China's alleged ongoing reclamation at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands. Beijing’s campaign of island building in the South China Sea might soon quadruple the number of airstrips available to the PLA in the highly contested region. Photo: AP
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