While the RNC is struggling with parliamentary issues raised by the “never Trump” contingent, China is playing its own games. Never fear, the parties in Cleveland will rage on into the night as hookers and hoteliers rake in the cash.
The Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that the two airstrips in the Spratly Islands that were calibrated for civilian passenger aircraft were Subi Reef and Mischief Reef. An Airbus 319 and a Boeing 737 landed and took off from the airstrips before returning to Hainan. The aircraft were chartered by South China Airlines.
The Xinhua report confirmed that China now has three operational airstrips. The first to become active is the airstrip on Fiery Cross Reef, which was tested for operability in January. Xinhua also reported the flight from Hainan Island to Mischief reef one-way took two hours.
Mischief Reef was central to the Philippine case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration which ruled that the Chinese presence is in violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Chinese continue to stress the usefulness of their improvements for civilian purposes. The business plan for the Spratlys would be interesting to read. Perhaps the Chinese would allow Philippine civilian aircraft to land at Mischief Reef to boost revenue.
When you consider that the Chinese stripped the reefs of fish though the use of demolitions and dredging, there is very little tourist value there. Imagine that?