Yeah, but this new one isn’t thousands of years old. It was only spotted last month. Lets break it down.
On the left is the Great Wall of China. It was built in 700 BC to defend China’s borders from invaders.
And on the right is the Chinese Great Wall of Sand.
It appeared in 2015 and is there… to defend China’s borders. Well, if it worked before, why not do the same again.
China has been building the “wall” in the South China Sea. Chinese ships pumped sand onto existing coral reefs to build and extend patches of land.
They are then adding concrete and creating airbases out in the middle of the ocean. Oh, and they are also installing weaponry on the islands. Not suspicious at all.
An ocean is a big place; it’s quite difficult to know which bits belong to different countries. After all you can’t exactly just put your flag in the water. Back to the drawing board I suppose.
China claims that the whole of the South China Sea is Chinese Territory. Fair enough, I mean it does have their name in it.
But other countries like Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei (no we hadn’t heard of it either) and Vietnam say some parts are theirs.
All the countries disagree over who owns the Spratly Island Chain. This is a small group of islands in the South China Sea.
So did the countries do the sensible thing and talk it out? Not a chance. Most of the countries involved have built separate military outposts along the Spratly Island Chain to stake their claim.
The islands are hundreds of miles from China. This hasn’t stopped the Chinese marking their territory by pouring tons of sand into the sea and building on existing coral reefs to create military bases. At the moment, these are separate bases. As the Chinese keep on building people have joked that they are building a second wall of China in the sea. It’s ambitious, I’ll give them that.
China and the USA haven’t been the best of friends recently. The USA is suspicious of China’s military expansion and worries China will evolve into a dangerous superpower. And China dislikes being told what to do by the Yankees.
China and other countries are about to attend the Shangri-La dialogue. This is meeting is for world leaders in the Pacific/Asia area to discuss security and military events. I wonder what they will be talking about?