Beijing's militarisation of the South China Sea has been revealed in new photos obtained by a newspaper in the Philippines

China’s militarisation of the South China Sea revealed

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Beijing’s militarisation of the South China Sea has been revealed in new aerial photos obtained by a newspaper in the Philippines. 

In what the news organisation described as an ‘unrestrained’ show of power China has apparently transformed seven reefs in the Spratly islands into military island fortresses featuring runways and observation towers. 

The dramatic military build-up is shown in pictures taken from a height of 1,500m (4,920 feet) in the last six months of 2017, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. 

One of the fortresses is situated on Panganiban, a reef which a United Nations-backed court has previously ruled belongs to the Philippines, it is reported.  

Beijing's militarisation of the South China Sea has been revealed in new photos obtained by a newspaper in the Philippines

Beijing's militarisation of the South China Sea has been revealed in new photos obtained by a newspaper in the Philippines

Beijing’s militarisation of the South China Sea has been revealed in new photos obtained by a newspaper in the Philippines

In what was described as an 'unrestrained' show of power China has apparently transformed seven reefs in the Spratly islands into military island fortresses

In what was described as an 'unrestrained' show of power China has apparently transformed seven reefs in the Spratly islands into military island fortresses

In what was described as an ‘unrestrained’ show of power China has apparently transformed seven reefs in the Spratly islands into military island fortresses

The military build-up has emerged in pictures taken from 1,500m in the second half of 2017, according to a Filipino paper

The military build-up has emerged in pictures taken from 1,500m in the second half of 2017, according to a Filipino paper

The military build-up has emerged in pictures taken from 1,500m in the second half of 2017, according to a Filipino paper

China's continued reclamation in the South China Sea has eroded trust among rival claimants and could raise regional tensions, Southeast Asian foreign ministers stated.on Tuesday

China's continued reclamation in the South China Sea has eroded trust among rival claimants and could raise regional tensions, Southeast Asian foreign ministers stated.on Tuesday

China’s continued reclamation in the South China Sea has eroded trust among rival claimants and could raise regional tensions, Southeast Asian foreign ministers stated.on Tuesday

One of the fortresses is situated on Panganiban, a reef which a United Nations-backed court has previously ruled belongs to the Philippines, it is reported. Pictured: a Chinese missile frigate

One of the fortresses is situated on Panganiban, a reef which a United Nations-backed court has previously ruled belongs to the Philippines, it is reported. Pictured: a Chinese missile frigate

One of the fortresses is situated on Panganiban, a reef which a United Nations-backed court has previously ruled belongs to the Philippines, it is reported. Pictured: a Chinese missile frigate

The pictures show a variety of military installations including missile frigates, observation towers and concrete helipads. 

China’s continued reclamation in the South China Sea has eroded trust among rival claimants and could raise regional tensions, Southeast Asian foreign ministers stated.on Tuesday. 

Beijing claims nearly all of the waterway and has been turning reefs and islets into islands and installing military facilities such as runways and equipment on them.

ASEAN members Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Vietnam as well as Taiwan also have partial claims in the waterway.

On the three largest reefs, Kagitingan, Panganiban and Zamora, runways appeared to be ready to receive military aircraft. 

China had in December defended its construction on disputed islands as ‘normal’ after a US think tank released new satellite images showing the deployment of radar and other equipment. 

The military expansion also ties into a broader Chinese initiative, called One Belt One Road.

The vast infrastructure project, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping, is set to build a ‘new Silk Road’ of ports, railways and roads to expand trade across an arc of countries through Asia, Africa and Europe. 

The Spratly islands is an archipelago that lies off the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Vietnam in the South China Sea. The three largest reefs Kagitingan (Fiery Cross), Panganiban (Mischief) and Zamora (Subi) runways now appear to be ready to receive military aircraft

The Spratly islands is an archipelago that lies off the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Vietnam in the South China Sea. The three largest reefs Kagitingan (Fiery Cross), Panganiban (Mischief) and Zamora (Subi) runways now appear to be ready to receive military aircraft

The Spratly islands is an archipelago that lies off the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Vietnam in the South China Sea. The three largest reefs Kagitingan (Fiery Cross), Panganiban (Mischief) and Zamora (Subi) runways now appear to be ready to receive military aircraft

Beijing claims nearly all of the waterway and has been turning reefs and islets into islands and installing military facilities such as runways and equipment on them, such as this radome on Panganiban Reef

Beijing claims nearly all of the waterway and has been turning reefs and islets into islands and installing military facilities such as runways and equipment on them, such as this radome on Panganiban Reef

Beijing claims nearly all of the waterway and has been turning reefs and islets into islands and installing military facilities such as runways and equipment on them, such as this radome on Panganiban Reef

China had in December defended its construction on disputed islands as 'normal' after a US think tank released new satellite images showing the deployment of radar and other equipment

China had in December defended its construction on disputed islands as 'normal' after a US think tank released new satellite images showing the deployment of radar and other equipment

China had in December defended its construction on disputed islands as ‘normal’ after a US think tank released new satellite images showing the deployment of radar and other equipment

The lagoon at Panganiban Reef was among the images in the images made available by a newspaper in the Philippines

The lagoon at Panganiban Reef was among the images in the images made available by a newspaper in the Philippines

The lagoon at Panganiban Reef was among the images in the images made available by a newspaper in the Philippines

The military expansion also ties into a broader Chinese initiative, called One Belt One Road, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping to expand trade

The military expansion also ties into a broader Chinese initiative, called One Belt One Road, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping to expand trade

The military expansion also ties into a broader Chinese initiative, called One Belt One Road, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping to expand trade

Chinese naval and coast guard ships including a Nanyun-class replenishment ship were among the military installations pictured

Chinese naval and coast guard ships including a Nanyun-class replenishment ship were among the military installations pictured

Chinese naval and coast guard ships including a Nanyun-class replenishment ship were among the military installations pictured

An observation tower, hanger, concrete runway and weather radar are visible on Kagitingan Reef 

An observation tower, hanger, concrete runway and weather radar are visible on Kagitingan Reef 

An observation tower, hanger, concrete runway and weather radar are visible on Kagitingan Reef 

The military installations on Mabini Reef include observation powers, a concrete helipad and a pair of wind turbines

The military installations on Mabini Reef include observation powers, a concrete helipad and a pair of wind turbines

The military installations on Mabini Reef include observation powers, a concrete helipad and a pair of wind turbines

Military ships have been pictured at Zamora Reef, including a frigate equipped with a primary surface strike weapon

Military ships have been pictured at Zamora Reef, including a frigate equipped with a primary surface strike weapon

Military ships have been pictured at Zamora Reef, including a frigate equipped with a primary surface strike weapon

At Panganiban Reef there were troop transport ships pictured as well as an amphibious Chinese transport dock

At Panganiban Reef there were troop transport ships pictured as well as an amphibious Chinese transport dock

At Panganiban Reef there were troop transport ships pictured as well as an amphibious Chinese transport dock

A Chinese coast guard vessel, three cargo vessels and 15 fishing vessels were visible in the pictures at Zamora Reef

A Chinese coast guard vessel, three cargo vessels and 15 fishing vessels were visible in the pictures at Zamora Reef

A Chinese coast guard vessel, three cargo vessels and 15 fishing vessels were visible in the pictures at Zamora Reef

A Chinese coast guard vessel was very clearly visible in the newly revealed pictures at Zamora Reef in the South China Sea

A Chinese coast guard vessel was very clearly visible in the newly revealed pictures at Zamora Reef in the South China Sea

A Chinese coast guard vessel was very clearly visible in the newly revealed pictures at Zamora Reef in the South China Sea

On Kagitingan Reef there were observation towers, radomes, a lighthouse and a 3.1km (1.9 mile) concrete runway

On Kagitingan Reef there were observation towers, radomes, a lighthouse and a 3.1km (1.9 mile) concrete runway

On Kagitingan Reef there were observation towers, radomes, a lighthouse and a 3.1km (1.9 mile) concrete runway

Military installations on Hughes Reef included a multi-storey building with a radome, and a single-barrel gun 

Military installations on Hughes Reef included a multi-storey building with a radome, and a single-barrel gun 

Military installations on Hughes Reef included a multi-storey building with a radome, and a single-barrel gun 

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