China plans ‘floating nuclear power plant’ in disputed South China Sea

The Chinese government is planning to strengthen its outsized territorial claims to the South China Sea by building a “floating” nuclear power plant there.

The plant will provide power primarily to people living in Sansha city, according to the People’s Daily, a newspaper operated by the Communist Party of China. Sansha is a prefecture-level city of Hainan province of China. It administers (actually or nominally) several island groups and undersea atolls in the South China Sea including the Spratly Islands, the Paracel Islands, Macclesfield Bank, Scarborough Shoal, and a number of other ungrouped maritime features.

Some of these territories are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, the latter of which China considers little more than a renegade province.

The Chinese media organ reported further that “to improve the livelihood and work conditions of people living on the islands, and strengthen the necessary military defense of the South China Sea within China’s sovereignty, China has rationally expanded the area of its islands and reefs.”

“The area of the South China Sea’s islands and reefs will expand a step further” going into 2018, according to the People’s Daily. [source]

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Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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