South China Sea: how a Spratlys radar system could give the PLA an information edge

South China Sea: how a Spratlys radar system could give the PLA an information edge

China’s sweeping communications network in the Spratlys will have a decisive role to play in Beijing’s crisis management plans to deal with its increasing tensions with the US in the South China Sea, according to military reports and analysts.

Several scenarios under consideration in Beijing feature the seven artificial islands which cover about 1,300 hectares (3,200 acres) of coral reefs in the disputed Spratly archipelago.

A report in Chinese military magazine Naval and Merchant Ships, said the US had tried to create a “grey zone” by forming a mini “Nato” in the Pacific to counter China, in a C-shaped arc linking India, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

“Beijing should take countermeasures to cope with the US ‘grey zone tactics’ and let the US realise China is neither a passive receiver nor regional guest in Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy, but a key player and master in the region,” according to the analysis in the December edition of the magazine, run by the Chinese navy’s main contractor China State Shipbuilding Corporation.