AMTI: China built more illegal radar domes in Truong Sa

Satellite images released by AMTI show that China has illegally built more radar domes on artificial islands in the Spratlys belonging to Vietnam’s sovereignty.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), part of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), based in Washington, USA, released satellite images late last week, showing several new radar domes on the seabed. Mischief Reef, an feature of Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelago, has been built into an illegal artificial island by China.

AMTI said two white spherical radar domes appeared on Mischief Reef in late 2020, one appeared earlier this year. These illegal radar domes appear prominently in satellite images taken by AMTI on June 5.

The radar dome appeared at Mischief Reef, Truong Sa archipelago, Vietnam, on June 5.  Photo: AMTI.

China’s illegal radar dome built on Mischief Reef in Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelago in satellite images on June 5. Image: AMTI.

AMTI satellite images also show large blue-roofed structures installed on many of the illegally occupied Chinese features in the Spratlys.

The blue roofs seem to be built in uniform size, with a length of 50 m and a width of 15-25 m. The first roof was discovered in November 2019 on Fiery Cross rock, continued to appear at Subi rock in April 2020, Mischief Reef in May 2020, Ga Ven rock, Tu Nghia rock in August 2020. , Gac Ma rock in September 2020 and Chau Vien rock in January last year.

These rocks are all part of Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelago and have been occupied by China since 1988. Beijing then carried out illegal reclamation activities into artificial islands and construction of military structures on these features. there.

Unidentified green dome structure at Gac Ma rock, Truong Sa archipelago, Vietnam, February 11.  Photo: AMTI.

China’s green dome structure illegally erected on Gac Ma rock in Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelago, February 11. Image: AMTI.

The blue roofs continued to be discovered in the Hoang Sa archipelago under Vietnam’s sovereignty last year, appearing on Phu Lam island in April 2021, Quang Hoa island and Hoang Sa island in June-August 2021, in which the construction at Phu Lam was dismantled earlier this year.

Some of the roofs remained in place, while others were removed or relocated to new locations. Most recently, the roof at Fiery Cross was moved from the southern tip of the artificial island closer to the center in April.

The purpose of these roofs is unknown. They were erected quickly, some covering basketball courts, part of runways or prepared areas. On Subi rock, a Red Cross symbol is painted next to the blue canopy.

AMTI also discovered that China has increased illegal construction activities on three islands in the Paracel Islands, under Vietnam’s sovereignty. The wharf on Linh Con island was extended from 175 to 200 m in March 2021, the wharf on Quang Anh island increased from 150 to 190 m, and in Hoang Sa island increased from 190 to 250 m. Solar panels appear on many buildings on Woody Island in the Paracels.

The Paracel Islands have been occupied by China by force since 1974. China established the so-called “Sansha city”, based on Woody Island from July 2012 in order to acquire archipelagos in the Sea. East, including Truong Sa and Hoang Sa, belongs to Vietnam’s sovereignty.

The East Sea area and the two archipelagos of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa of Vietnam.  Graphics: CSIS.

The East Sea area and the two archipelagos of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa of Vietnam. Graphics:CSIS.

China unilaterally drew a “nine-dash line”, claiming unreasonable sovereignty over most of the East Sea. It also reclamation, reclamation, construction of military outposts and illegal stationing of troops on the features of the Paracel and Spratly archipelagoes of Vietnam, despite the law and objections of Vietnam. and international.

Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal basis to assert its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, in accordance with international law. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has repeatedly stated that China’s illegal reclamation and militarization activities in these two archipelagoes seriously violate Vietnam’s sovereignty as well as the provisions of international law.

Duc Trung (Theo AMTI)

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