New Satellites to Secure China’s Grip on South China Sea

The Republic of Singapore Navy's RSS Intrepid, RSS Supreme, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen trail the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth during the underway phase of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) in the South China Sea. Photo: U.S. Pacific Command/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joe Bishop.

The Republic of Singapore Navy’s RSS Intrepid, RSS Supreme, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen trail the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth during the underway phase of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) in the South China Sea. Photo: U.S. Pacific Command/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joe Bishop.

For decades, several countries have competed to claim territory within the South China Sea, and China is no exception. Now, the country — which already has more advanced maritime technology than its rivals nearby — is launching multiple observation satellites to improve its situational awareness in the region.

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