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Militarization and Construction in the South China Sea, Reported Facts on the Ground and on the Waters

China 2nd ranking general visits disputed Spratly islands

Gerneral Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, recently inspected artificial islands that the country is occupying in the disputed Spratly archipelago, according to a brief statement released by China’s Defense Ministry on Friday, April 15.

The Central Military Commission is China’s most powerful military commanding agency and chaired by President Xi Jinping. Its two vice chairmen, including Fan, are also Politburo Members.

General Fan Changlong

Gen. Fan Changlong, Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission

According to the report published on the website of China’s Defense Ministry:

“Fan, who was accompanied by military officers and civilian officials, met with officers and soldiers stationed on the islands as well as construction workers, the ministry said on its official website.”

Fan was also briefed on the construction projects on Spratly islands and reefs.

“The ministry said the construction projects are going smoothly. Those projects, including lighthouses, automatic weather stations, oceanic observation centers and oceanic research facilities, will provide public services for the international community.

Five lighthouses for navigation safety have been completed, and four of them are operative now, it added.”

The statement did not say when and the exact features that Fan visited in the Spratly islands, Associated Press noticed.

Further related information can be read at http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/china-2nd-ranking-general-visits-disputed-islands-1.404712.

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