For most observers, this could become an observation outpost for China in the Indian Ocean.
The new satellite photos give only a vague idea of what is going on in the Coco Islands. The visible extension of an airstrip and the construction of several hangars seem to suggest that the island of Grande Coco could accommodate a small airport.
Also, what looks like a radar station was also built in the south of the island. What give the impression that this small territory of about twenty km² could become the big ears of Beijing (or Burma) in the Indian Ocean.
It is not the first time that the Coco Islands have found themselves at the center of speculation about a possible Chinese military presence in the Indian Ocean. Rumors arose throughout the 1990s of the existence of a gigantic listening antenna operated by China on these Burmese islands. Conspiracy theories relayed by several South Asian media even suggested that China had secretly leased these islands to Burma, underlines the note from Chatham House. But nothing has ever substantiated these assertions.
If these tiny islands have been at the center of discussions about China's desire to have a presence in the Indian Ocean for so long, it is because of their strategic geographical location.
China took a major step on Thursday in President Xi Jinping’s drive to impose greater control and limit Western influences on Chinese society, as it passed a new law restricting the work of foreign organizations and their local partners, mainly through police supervision.
7 years, 1 month ago
Officials in Beijing declared on Monday that the thick smog blanketing the city was bad enough to require a red alert, the first time they had raised the alarm to its highest level since an emergency air-pollution response system was announced in 2013.
7 years, 5 months ago
China will ease family planning restrictions to allow all couples to have two children after decades of the strict one-child policy, the ruling Communist Party said on Thursday, a move aimed at alleviating demographic restraints on the economy.
7 years, 7 months ago
A large chemical fire and explosion ripped through an industrial zone in a northeastern Chinese city late Monday, killing at least one person, local officials said, less than a month after deadly chemical blasts in the nearby city of Tianjin raised concerns about industrial safety in China.
7 years, 9 months ago