Philippine Defense Secretary expects China will start building an island less than 200 miles from Manila

The Philippine defense secretary predicted China would start building an artificial island on the bones of Scarborough Shoal. Scarborough Shoal is less than 200 miles from Manila while the current islands that China built are 500 miles away.

If unopposed, China would likely attempt to build an installation like the several bases Beijing has constructed in the Spratly Island chain to the south of Scarborough, Delfin Lorenzana said in a Tuesday interview with AFP.

“If we allow them, they will build,” he told the wire.

“That’s very, very disturbing. Very much (more) disturbing than Fiery Cross because this is so close to us.”

According to the report, Lorenzana didn’t give a time frame to when the Chinese might make an attempt to rebuild the island. A U.S. defense official told USNI News on Thursday there was no evidence China was moving land reclamation assets into the region near Scarborough Shoal.