Question about Chinese Military Outposts in the South China Sea

According to this NY Times article, China is building a significant presence in the South China Sea on various natural and man-made reefs. How do they plan to address global warming and the subsequent sea level rise anticipated? Presumably they are building these islands high enough or with some protective barriers, but ultimately is it wise to be building military installations on reefs?

How are oil platforms or offshore wind farms built? I really don’t know, but since I hope that we’ll have wiser people answering: wouldn’t those kinds of technologies be reusable for other offshore structures?

We’re not talking about platforms or offshore wind farms, we’re talking about military bases designed for large deployments, huge buildings sitting on essentially an island. Oil platforms are designed to handle large waves… buildings on an island typically aren’t. I assume China has thought this through and have determined these island military bases will be around long enough to justify the huge cost. China has a navy, and can put people and material in the South China Sea now without creating these bases. Perhaps if the bases last for the next 50 years that’s good enough to provide the defense they feel they need.

These outposts aren’t being built for military purposes. They’re being built to establish an exclusive economic zone around the “islands”. To do that, you have to have islands that you claim, and to claim it you have to make sure pesky foreigners don’t take it over, and to do that you need military dudes to kick out the wrong people.

Yes, because that is the way they are advancing their national interests. None of the other options offer them the options these bases do.

This is not primarily about the ability to push military power forward when needed or defense. It’s about using relatively small outposts to support claims to Chinese control of the South China Sea under current international agreements. The bases are an attempt to increase control, short of outright war, of some of the most important shipping lanes in the world.

China is not the only country making claims in the area. There is a Filipino civilian population of about 200 on one island, largely self supporting with its own agriculture and energy generation, and children attending school.

The fun really starts when the media clusters the forces into units, and then with a straight face uses the words as if anybody knows that they mean. “Turkey moved two battalions into Kurdish territory.” How many men in a battalion? A lot, but who gives a shit, they’re Turks. Wikipedia estimates that a battalion typically from about 300 to maybe 800, depending on the country’s military organization. OK, how many in Turkey. You think we have a man in Turkey – that was a freelance stringer, the only bilingual guy we got. Shut up, we have to run this ad for a drug you can take to prevent acid reflux when you order a pizza at midnight.

This is America, though, and forces count. So how many men in a US military battalion? Hands, anyone? Wiki again. 300-1,200. Whnaaa? More vague than Turks.

The above was supposed to be in the thread about “Force as a term for individual” but my browser glitched out and by the time I recovered it had lurched its way back to a previous thread. Mod, please delete this from this thread,