A plane sits on an airfield next to buildings and structures on the artificial island built by China at Fiery Cross Reef on October 25, 2022 in the Spratly Islands, South China Sea.  Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
A plane sits on an airfield next to buildings and structures on the artificial island built by China at Fiery Cross Reef on October 25, 2022 in the Spratly Islands, South China Sea. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

Fortified South China Sea artificial islands project Beijing’s military reach and power, say observers

  • Filipino photographer brings fresh attention to island bases which analyst says act as ‘unsinkable aircraft carriers’ for PLA to hunt submarines
  • But experts also see outposts as vulnerable to foreign forces during a conflict and challenges of isolation and distance from mainland China

A plane sits on an airfield next to buildings and structures on the artificial island built by China at Fiery Cross Reef on October 25, 2022 in the Spratly Islands, South China Sea.  Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
A plane sits on an airfield next to buildings and structures on the artificial island built by China at Fiery Cross Reef on October 25, 2022 in the Spratly Islands, South China Sea. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
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