Sun, 22 May 2022

Beijing [China], January 23 (ANI): People's Liberation Army has established and upgraded its outposts in the geopolitically significant South China Sea, according to a report.

'The People's Liberation Army in the South China Sea: An Organizational Guide' released by Recorded Future, a private cyber security company focus on China's military upgrading facilities in the South China Sea.

New units of the People's Liberation Army have been established and existing ones upgraded over the past decade to man outposts in the South China Sea, leaving China's military better positioned to project power in the wider Indo-Pacific region, according to Radio Free Asia.

China claims sovereignty over most of the South China Sea and has been engaged in territorial disputes with several neighbouring countries.

The Chinese military occupies the entire Paracels archipelago and at least seven features in the Spratlys, with the number of troops stationed there estimated at more than 10,000, according to the report.

With the main focus on the protection of China's maritime and territorial claims, the units have received sizable funding and grown rapidly over the past decade, according to Radio Free Asia.

By projecting power in the South China Sea, Beijing wishes to project power within and beyond the first island chain, control access to vital sea lanes of communication or engage with the US in a conflict over the status of Taiwan.

The 33-page report provides up-to-date and comprehensive research on China's solid military presence on the islands and features in the South China Sea.

Zachary Haver, China defence analyst at Recorded Future and the author of the report said the biggest difficulty was identifying the PLA units.

"China began fundamentally reorganizing the PLA around 2015, according to Haver, and deployed a significant number of new forces to the South China Sea over the past decade," he said. (ANI)

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