China isn’t the only one building islands in the South China Sea

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CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

China is not the only nation building islands in the South China Sea – although the scope of its construction is unparalleled.

Along with Beijing, Vietnam has also started projects mostly within the past two years of constructing islands. Altogether, the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative has documented 10 sites of Vietnamese construction throughout the region. Together, Vietnam has built slightly over 120 acres of land in the area.

By comparison, China has created over 3,000 acres of land in the Spratly Islands, far overshadowing Vietnam’s efforts. But Vietnam’s construction gives China cover for its activities as the US has called on both sides to cease construction in the region.

Below are before and after photos showcasing Vietnam’s island-building efforts:


Spratly Island: 2014 – 2016

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CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Southwest Cay: 2005 – 2016

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CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Sin Cowe Island: 2006 – 2016

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CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

West Reef: 2013 – 2016

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CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Sand Cay: 2011 – 2016

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CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Pearson Reef: 2014 – 2016

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CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Central Reef: 2009 – 2016

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CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Grierson Reef: 2012 – 2016

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CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Cornwallis South Reef (Southeast): 2014 – 2016

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CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Cornwallis South Reef (Southwest): 2014 – 2016

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CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe