See China's secret ocean airbase

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China is reportedly building an airbase in the disputed waters of Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Island.

(CNN Philippines) – A military grade runway is being built by China on an island in the disputed South China Sea, newly-released satellite photos show.

A CNN report Sunday (April 19) showed images of China’s latest construction in the disputed waters of Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Island, which Beijing contests with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan.

The stills were reportedly taken on March 23 and were published by IHS Jane's Defense Weekly last Thursday (April 16).

China secret base 2

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang is also set to present to media aerial photos Monday (April 20) showing latest construction and reclamation projects of China in the West Philippine Sea.

"Gen. Catapang is very concerned about China's ongoing activities (hence the decision to make this public)," AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said.

He added that Chinese aggressiveness in the West Philippine Sea could have adverse economic and military implications aside from causing tensions in the sealanes.

"And since those sealanes are international, that could affect world trade," Cabunoc stated.

"We want to tell the whole world, not only the Filipino people but the whole world that these issues, particularly the tensions caused by China’s massive reclamation activities have significant impact to all, " the AFP public affairs office chief added.

President Benigno Aquino III said on Friday (April 17) the territorial sea dispute with China was of concern for the world because global trade will be hit by China's reclamation.

"We keep asserting the problem in the South China Sea is not a regional problem," Aquino told journalists. "This is a problem of the whole world because 40 percent of global trade pass through these waters. Global leaders have already expressed their concern on this problem."

China claims most of the West Philippine Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.

The Philippines News Agency and Reuters contributed to this report.