Articles

Medium, June 15, 2018

Medium, June 15, 2018

Imágenes por satélite: un (preocupante) misterio cubano El nuevo radomo en Cuba no tiene precedentes. ¿Quién está detrás? Las imágenes por satélite de febrero y mayo de 2018 muestran un radomo recién construido en la base de inteligencia de señales cercana a Bejucal (Cuba).

The Diplomat, June 8, 2018

The Diplomat, June 8, 2018

Satellite Images: A (Worrying) Cuban Mystery The new radome in Cuba is unprecedented. Who is behind it? Satellite images from February and May 2018 show a newly constructed radome on the signals intelligence base near Bejucal, Cuba. Its protective dome and elevated mounting make it the first of its kind among the numerous long-standing sigint antennas at Bejucal, which have been used to intercept electronic communications from the United States.

The Diplomat, May 24, 2016

The Diplomat, May 24, 2016

China Builds Space-Monitoring Base in the Americas Critics in Argentina say sovereign territory has been turned over to China’s PLA. A space tracking, telemetry and command facility operated by a unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army is nearing completion at a site in Patagonia, Argentina.

Medium, May 24, 2016

Medium, May 24, 2016

China construye una base de control espacial en el continente sudamericano Los detractores en Argentina afirman que se ha entregado territorio soberano al Ejército Popular de Liberación de China Está a punto de finalizarse un centro de control espacial, telemetría y mando operado por el Ejército Popular de Liberación de China en la Patagonia (Argentina).

The Diplomat, March 7, 2016

The Diplomat, March 7, 2016

Satellite Imagery: China Expands Land Filling at North Island in the Paracels Satellite images also show dredging of a new harbor basin. Satellite imagery from March 2, 2016 shows a marked expansion of China’s dredging and land filling at North Island in the Paracels.

Medium, March 8, 2016

Medium, March 8, 2016

China expands land filling at North Island in the Paracels, South China Sea Manufactured terrain joins two islands along a straight reef that could accommodate a runway. Satellite images also show dredging of a new harbor basin. Satellite imagery from March 2nd, 2016 shows a marked expansion of China’s dredging and land filling at North Island in the Paracels.

Medium, February 21, 2016

Medium, February 21, 2016

Cuarteron Reef, Spratlys, South China Sea: Satellite Image Update Radar antenna array first reported in The Diplomat in September 2015 is nearing completion. Located in the eastern London Reefs, Cuarteron is known as Calderon Reef in Filipino, Huayang Jiao 华阳礁 in Chinese, and đá Châu Viên in Vietnamese. Imagery as of January 21, 2016 and August 23, 2015.

Medium, February 15, 2016

Medium, February 15, 2016

China is Building a Helicopter Base in the Paracel Islands, and Manufacturing Land at Two More Sites in the South China Sea Satellite images of Duncan, Tree and North Islands indicate a new phase in China’s ambitions to control the South China Sea Satellite images show dredging and land filling by China at two new sites in the South China Sea, both in the Amphitrite group of the Paracel Islands, approximately 15 kilometers north-northwest of China’s military base at Woody (Yongxing) Island.

The Diplomat, February 13, 2016

The Diplomat, February 13, 2016

Satellite Images: China Manufactures Land at New Sites in the Paracel Islands A new helicopter base is seen for the first time at Duncan Island in the South China Sea. Satellite images show dredging and land filling by China at two new sites in the South China Sea, both in the Amphitrite group of the Paracel Islands, approximately 15 kilometers north-northwest of China’s military base at Woody (Yongxing) Island.

Medium, January 18, 2016

Medium, January 18, 2016

Xi Jinping Presides Over Ecocide in the South China Sea Satellite imagery shows at least 28 reefs have been systematically damaged, in addition to those already buried by Beijing’s island building. Satellite images of the South China Sea show man-made scarring of coral reefs on a scale heretofore unappreciated, much of which occurred between 2012 and late 2015.

The Diplomat, January 15, 2016

The Diplomat, January 15, 2016

Satellite Imagery Shows Ecocide in the South China Sea Poaching of giant clam shells is causing massive scarring of coral reefs. Satellite images of the South China Sea show man-made scarring of coral reefs on a scale heretofore unappreciated, much of which occurred between 2012 and late 2015.

Medium, December 11, 2019

Medium, December 11, 2019

卫星影像显示中国南海生态遭到严重破坏 盗猎大砗磲(巨蚌)导致大量珊瑚礁遭到破坏。 中国南海的卫星影像显示,大量的珊瑚礁遭到人为破坏,其规模之大,迄今未引起重视,其中绝大多数的破坏发生于2012年至2015年末之间。

Medium, December 11, 2019

Medium, December 11, 2019

衛星影像顯示中國南海生態遭到嚴重破壞 盜獵大硨磲(巨蚌)導致大量珊瑚礁遭到破壞。 中國南海的衛星影像顯示,大量的珊瑚礁遭到人為破壞,其規模之大,迄今未引起重視,其中絕大多數的破壞發生於2012年至2015年末之間。

Medium, November 29, 2019

Medium, November 29, 2019

Hình ảnh vệ tinh tố giác tội ác hủy diệt sinh thái ở Biển Đông Nạn khai thác vỏ sò tai tượng bất hợp pháp đang gây nên những vết sẹo khổng lồ ở các rạn san hô. Hình ảnh Biển Đông thu từ vệ tinh cho thấy, đang tồn tại những vết sẹo do con người gây ra trên các rạn san hô với quy mô mà trước đây chưa được đánh giá đúng, phần nhiều trong số những vết sẹo này xuất hiện vào khoảng thời gian từ 2012 đến cuối 2015.

The Diplomat, September 16, 2015

The Diplomat, September 16, 2015

South China Sea: Satellite Imagery Shows China’s Buildup on Fiery Cross Reef The new capabilities may include sophisticated over-the-horizon radar. Recent satellite imagery of Fiery Cross in the Spratly Islands reveals that China’s construction of facilities on the reef is more ambitious than previously appreciated, with one of its building complexes on track to rival the Pentagon in size.

Medium, September 20, 2015

Medium, September 20, 2015

China’s Ambitious Military Buildup on Fiery Cross Reef, South China Sea One building complex is on track to be as large as the Pentagon; flak-tower-like buildings and possible sophisticated radar are being built on other reefs occupied by China Recent satellite imagery of Fiery Cross in the Spratly Islands reveals that China’s construction of facilities on the reef is more ambitious than previously appreciated, with one of its building complexes on track to rival the Pentagon in size.

The Diplomat, September 10, 2015

The Diplomat, September 10, 2015

South China Sea: Satellite Imagery Makes Clear China’s Runway Work at Subi Reef New satellite imagery shows work well advanced on a combat-capable air facility. Satellite imagery of Subi Reef in the South China Sea taken September 3, 2015 clearly shows subgrading for a runway. At a width of approximately 60 meters, the subgrading could support a runway equal in width to that recently constructed by China at Fiery Cross Reef.

Medium, September 11, 2015

Medium, September 11, 2015

Satellite Imagery Makes Clear China’s Runway Work on Subi Reef, South China Sea Satellite imagery of Subi Reef in the South China Sea taken 3 September 2015 clearly shows subgrading for a runway. At a width of approximately 60 meters, the subgrading could support a runway equal in width to that recently constructed by China at Fiery Cross Reef. The current extent of subgrading at Subi is approximately 2,200 meters, with obvious preparations for a longer span underway.

The Diplomat, August 9, 2015

The Diplomat, August 9, 2015

Satellite Imagery: China Staging Mock Invasion of Taiwan? Images from an Inner Mongolia training base show what looks like a replica of central Taipei. A time series of satellite images confirms that in 2014 and early 2015 China constructed for military training purposes a building that closely resembles Taiwan’s Presidential Office Building in Taipei.

Medium, August 9, 2015

Medium, August 9, 2015

Satellite Imagery: China Staging Mock Invasion of Taiwan? Images from an Inner Mongolia training base show what looks like a replica of central Taipei. A time series of satellite images confirms that in 2014 and early 2015 China constructed for military training purposes a building that closely resembles Taiwan’s Presidential Office Building in Taipei.

The Diplomat, July 31, 2015

The Diplomat, July 31, 2015

South China Sea: Satellite Imagery Shows Intensive Chinese Building The latest satellite pictures show China building what appears to be a large runway on Subi Reef. Satellite imagery of Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands taken July 18, 2015 shows intensive preparation of terrain for a likely airstrip. A straight segment of reef that China has filled in with sand can easily accommodate a runway more than three kilometers long.

Medium, July 24, 2015

Medium, July 24, 2015

Subi Reef, Spratly Islands, South China Sea: Satellite Image Update July 18, 2015 Satellite imagery of Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands taken July 18, 2015 shows intensive preparation of terrain for a likely airstrip.

Medium, July 20, 2015

Medium, July 20, 2015

Fiery Cross Reef, South China Sea: Satellite Image Update Images taken July 13, 2015 show rapid construction of a complex military facility

The Diplomat, June 19, 2015

The Diplomat, June 19, 2015

South China Sea: Satellite Images Show Pace of China’s Subi Reef Reclamation China is adding 8 acres a day, while other images corroborate Malaysia on South Luconia Shoals. Satellite imagery from June 5, 2015 shows China has expanded its land fill of Subi Reef by 74 percent in less than two months, adding an average of eight acres of surface per day on that reef alone. Mischief Reef, larger than Subi, is now more than half filled in, according to a June 9, 2015 NASA image.

Medium, June 19, 2015

Medium, June 19, 2015

China is adding 8 acres a day to Subi Reef land fill; satellite imagery corroborates Malaysia’s concerns over South Luconia Shoals Satellite imagery from June 5, 2015, shows China has expanded its land fill of Subi Reef by 74% in less than two months, adding an average of eight acres of surface per day on that reef alone. Mischief Reef, larger than Subi, is now more than half filled in, according to a June 9, 2015 NASA image.

The Diplomat, April 25, 2015

The Diplomat, April 25, 2015

South China Sea: China's Unprecedented Spratlys Building Program Subi Reef looks next in line for an airstrip, as building and reclamation continue with unprecedented speed. High-resolution satellite images from April 17, 2015 reveal that in the space of ten weeks China has built an island on top of Subi Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands group.

Medium, April 25, 2015

Medium, April 25, 2015

South China Sea: China’s Spratlys Building Program At Full Speed Subi Reef looks next in line for an airstrip High-resolution satellite images from April 17, 2015 reveal that in the space of ten weeks China has built an island on top of Subi Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands group.

The Diplomat, April 14, 2015

The Diplomat, April 14, 2015

South China Sea: China Is Building on the Paracels As Well It’s not just the Spratlys, China is constructing military facilities on the Paracel Islands too. As Vietnam’s Communist Party Chief Nguyen Phu Trong met with China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing last week, China’s government news service Xinhua extolled a “deep-rooted partnership” between the two nations.

Medium, April 19, 2015

Medium, April 19, 2015

China is building on the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea High-resolution satellite images show expansion of a runway at Woody Island and large areas of new landfill on Duncan Island. As Vietnam’s Communist Party Chief Nguyen Phu Trong met with China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing last week, China’s government news service Xinhua extolled a “deep-rooted partnership” between the two nations.

Medium, March 16, 2015

Medium, March 16, 2015

China’s New Military Installations in the Disputed Spratly Islands: Satellite Image Update Recent high-resolution images show new areas of reclamation on Mischief and Subi Reefs, and intensive construction on Fiery Cross as well as several other reefs.

The Diplomat, January 13, 2015

The Diplomat, January 13, 2015

Sri Lanka: A Surprising Blow for Democracy Voters end an apparent slide towards dictatorship, and confound Beijing’s plans for the region. Democracy has taken many knocks in recent years. Russian President Vladimir Putin has twisted a supposed Russian democracy into a dictatorship. Beijing is touting its single-party autocracy as superior to democracy. And in Washington, democracy looks like a legislative train wreck.

Medium, January 14, 2015

Medium, January 14, 2015

Sri Lanka: Surprising Success for Democracy Voters end an apparent slide toward dictatorship and confound Beijing’s plans Democracy has taken many knocks in recent years. Russian President Vladimir Putin has twisted a supposed Russian democracy into a dictatorship. Beijing is touting its single-party autocracy as superior to democracy. And in Washington, democracy looks like a legislative train wreck.

The Diplomat, November 6, 2014

The Diplomat, November 6, 2014

Bhutan: The Indian Army’s Front Line Strategically located, the tiny Himalayan country is at the center of growing tensions between two great powers. In late October, on the dirt road that winds north from the Bhutanese town of Paro in the direction of the border with Chinese-controlled Tibet, I pass an Indian army base of more than 600 soldiers. They are packing up to return to India for the duration of Bhutan’s harsh winter months.

Medium, November 9, 2014

Medium, November 9, 2014

Bhutan: The Indian Army’s Front Line in its Himalayan Rivalry With China’s People’s Liberation Army In late October, on the dirt road that winds north from the Bhutanese town of Paro in the direction of the border with Chinese-controlled Tibet, I pass an Indian army base of more than 600 soldiers. They are packing up to return to India for the duration of Bhutan’s harsh winter months.

The Diplomat, October 2, 2014

The Diplomat, October 2, 2014

Is Indonesia Beijing’s Next Target in the South China Sea? Until recently, Indonesia seemed immune to the maritime disputes. That could be changing. NATUNA ISLAND – What might be called “homeland security” is tight at Natuna Island, and it should be – this may be the next bite China takes out of the South China Sea.

Medium, October 10, 2014

Medium, October 10, 2014

Beijing’s Next Target in the South China Sea: Indonesia? Victor Robert Lee reports from Natuna Island, Indonesia What might be called “homeland security” is tight at Natuna Island, and it should be — this may be the next bite China takes out of the South China Sea.

Medium, June 4, 2014

Medium, June 4, 2014

On the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, uncover your ears In February, America’s commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, worryingly exclaimed that China’s sudden announcement of an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea had been made unilaterally and without any consultation with other countries; “They sound ominous,” he concluded.

The Diplomat, April 24, 2014

The Diplomat, April 24, 2014

Japan’s Defense Minister Kept Busy as Obama Visits Asia Itsunori Onodera has spent the week bolstering Japan’s defenses, but was not helped by his colleagues. Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has been an exceptionally busy man this week, which coincides with U.S. President Barack Obama’s state visit to Tokyo.

Medium, April 26, 2014

Medium, April 26, 2014

Japan’s Defense Minister Counters Beijing as Obama Visits Asia Japan’s defense minister Itsunori Onodera is an exceptionally busy man during this week of President Obama’s state visit to Tokyo. On April 19th Onodera oversaw the groundbreaking ceremony for a new military base and radar installation on Yonaguni Island, Japan’s westernmost territory, only 110 kilometers from Taiwan and the closest inhabited spot to the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, hotly disputed by China and Japan.

The Diplomat, December 7, 2013

The Diplomat, December 7, 2013

Manila’s Defense Conundrum Typhoon Haiyan revealed some glaring weaknesses in the Philippine military. Can it defend its own territory? November’s Typhoon Haiyan (known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda) tragically killed thousands of Filipinos and brought extreme hardship to hundreds of thousands more. It also wiped away any veneer from the country’s military, revealing the Philippines, a country of almost 100 million people, to be without any meaningful self-defense capabilities.

Medium, December 16, 2013

Medium, December 16, 2013

Manila-Beijing-Washington: What the Typhoon Revealed November’s Typhoon Haiyan (known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda) tragically wiped away thousands of lives and brought extreme hardship to hundreds of thousands of Filipinos. It also wiped away any veneer on their country’s military, revealing the Philippines, a nation of almost 100 million people, to be without any meaningful self-defense capabilities.

Medium, April 11, 2013

Medium, April 11, 2013

Cultural Revolution or Cultural Decapitation? I’ll change her name to Ms. Wang, so she won’t risk retribution from the government. On an overcast November day, Ms. Wang, early forties, guided me through one of the historically important cities of central China. She was poised, professional, competent, but slightly pre-programmed in her commentaries about the landmarks of the ancient city.

Medium, January 15, 2013

Medium, January 15, 2013

The Last Empire Expands The world’s last remaining empire is expanding. More than fifty years after the European, Japanese, and American colonial powers largely abandoned their holds on far-flung territories, and more than twenty years after the Soviet collapse, one colonial power remains: China. To its portfolio of Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, Beijing has now added the near-entirety of the South China Sea. Why? Because it can. How? By simply announcing it.

© 2016-2020 Victor Robert Lee

Medium, December 16, 2013

Manila-Beijing-Washington: What the Typhoon Revealed November’s Typhoon Haiyan (known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda) tragically wiped away thousands of lives and brought extreme hardship to hundreds of thousands of Filipinos. It also wiped away any veneer on their country’s military, revealing the Philippines, a nation of almost 100 million people, to be without any meaningful self-defense capabilities.

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