(From Reuters)

China will begin civilian flights to and from a disputed South China Sea island within a year, state media reported on Friday, as the government expands infrastructure on islands and reefs also claimed by other countries in region.

Airstrip construction on the Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea

The flights will be to Sansha city, on Woody Island in the Paracel archipelago, China’s administrative base for islands and reefs it controls in the South China Sea.

The United States has voiced concerns about China’s assertive pursuit of territory in one of the world’s busiest trade routes.

Two passenger ships and a police vessel are base stations for mobile communications in Sansha, Xinhua news agency said.

The airfield in Sansha and a newer one on Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly archipelago are expected to boost air traffic services in the region, Xiao added. Read More

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