Aerial photographs obtained by Inquirer.net (Philippine Daily Inquirer) from a source (likely pictures from a military plane) show that China is almost finished transforming seven reefs claimed by the Philippines in the Spratly archipelago into island fortresses, in a bid to dominate the heavily disputed South China Sea.
Most of the photos, taken between June and December 2017, were snapped from an altitude of 1,500 meters and they showed the reefs that had been transformed into artificial islands in the final stages of development as air and naval bases.
China will soon have completed military facilities on
– Fiery Cross Reef
– Mischief reef
– Subi reef
– Johnson South
– Hughes reef
The runways for the three biggest reefs—Fiery Cross Reef, Mischief reef and Subi reef appeared either completed or almost ready for use.
Lighthouses, radomes, communication facilities, hangars and multistory buildings had also been built on the artificial islands. China has built underground tunnels, missile shelters, radars and high-frequency antennas on the artificial islands.