China has competed its first airstrip on Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed South China Sea, which may be a base for military air patrols soon over the West Philippine Sea.
Surveillance photos taken by Airbus Defence and Space Satellite on September 20 show the construction of a 3,125-metre long runway has been completed.
The images show that workers have painted the bearings 050° at one end of the runway and 230° at the other end.
Surveillance images also show completed helipads on the island.
Once the project is finished, the reef will be China’s largest base and first operational combat airstrip in the disputed zone.
China is also planning to build two other airstrips on Subi Reef and Mischief Reef – all three are claimed by the Philippines.
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