03:20 GMT10 August 2020
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    China to start reclaiming land around the disputed reef in South China Sea, local media reported.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) — China plans to start reclaiming land around the South China Sea shoal, disputed by Beijing, Taipei and Manila, local media reported.

    The South China Morning Post reported on Sunday, citing Chinese military sources, that Beijing would start the reclamation activities before the end of the year.

    The newspaper added that experts predict that Beijing could construct an airstrip on the shoal, to increase the Chinese Air Force's ability to expand its influence in the South China Sea.

    China has a number of ongoing maritime disputes with other Asia-Pacific states, particularly territorial claims over a number of islands located in the South China Sea.

    Beijing, Taipei and Manila all lay claim to the Scarborough Shoal, also known as Huangyan Island in Chinese and Panatag Shoal in Filipino, which lies some 100 miles off the Philippines.

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    Tags:
    disputed islands, activity, islands, land reclamation, conflict, South China Sea, China, Vietnam
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