China Owns the South China Sea
China continues to advance in the South China Sea. It’s latest achievement is a primary school on Woody Island (Yongxing Island).
Quartz: China opened a school on a contested South China Sea island, and the first class was on sovereignty
Putting children into school on the island, which is administered as part of Hainan province, can be seen as another move by the Chinese government to challenge the tribunal’s ruling, which Beijing believes is “illegal, null and void.” China has built islands in the contested waters, set up an air defense identification zone and held military drills in the area.
The 4,000-square-meter school’s fall semester opening day was reported by several Chinese media outlets, including a 45-minute online live broadcast (link in Chinese, registration required) filmed by CCTV. The school cost over 36 million yuan ($5.4 million) to build. Eight teachers are assigned to the 21 students in the kindergarten, and all of the students are children of soldiers and staff stationed on the island.
In addition to the primary school, Woody Island is being considered as an offshore banking center.
As discussed in China Winning 4G War in South China Sea, Plans 20 Floating Nuclear Power Plants, China is staking out property claims in the South China Sea and acting as if it owns it. Meanwhile, the cost of dislodging China continues to rise.