Can China Defend It's Island Bases In The South China Sea In The Event Of War?

An airbase on Fiery Cross Reef. Google Earth photo

Robert Farley, War Is Boring/National Interest: How Defensible Are China’s Island Bases?

Not very.

China has built some islands in the South China Sea. Can it protect them?

During World War II Japan found that control of islands offered some strategic advantages, but not enough to force the United States to reduce each island individually. Moreover, over time the islands became a strategic liability, as Japan struggled to keep them supplied with food, fuel and equipment.

The islands of the SCS are conveniently located for China, but do they really represent an asset to China’s military? The answer is yes, but in an actual conflict the value would dwindle quickly.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I concur with the above analysis. These islands are being primarily used as a tool to assert Chinese claims. But from a military point of view .... especially if a war breaks out .... they will be very difficult to defend.

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