|The airstrip and naval facilities on Yongxing Island|
According to an update on the PRC's Ministry of National Defense website (which cites a Chinese news source), China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) has apparently approved the formation and deployment of a military garrison in the recently created city of Sansha.
If this is accurate, tensions in the South China Sea could rise yet again. This latest move occurs after the State Council on June 21 turned Sansha into a prefecture-level city to administer more than 200 islets, sandbanks and reefs in the Spratly (Nansha), Macclesfield Bank (Zhongsha), and the Xisha (Paracel) islands, sparking protests from the Philippines, which has overlapping claims with China in the area.
My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here.