China Expands Its Island-Building Strategy Into the Pacific

The world knows the Republic of Kiribati as a very low-lying nation in the mid-Pacific that is in danger of inundation as the climate changes and sea levels rise.

Much less is known about its strategic location and the attention now being paid to it by Beijing, which has proposed large-scale dredging to reclaim land from lagoons. The aims are to raise the height of atolls and create land for industrial development, including two major ports. The massive works will likely be carried out by the same fleet of dredgers used by China to build artificial islands in its aggressive expansion into the South China Sea, and will almost certainly cause the same severe destruction of coral reefs in Kiribati.

Australia will ignore this activity at its cost.

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