South China Sea islands dispute South China Sea islands dispute

Highlighting new areas of Chinese construction on Mischief Reef, a monitoring group says that in addition to an airstrip, the artificial island will likely be outfitted with large anti-aircraft guns and a cruise missile defense system. CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe hide caption

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter shakes hands with Vietnam's General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, on June 1. Trong will meet with President Obama in the White House on Tuesday. Luong Thai Linh/EPA/Landov hide caption

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Luong Thai Linh/EPA/Landov

A March 16 satellite image from the CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative shows one of China's artificial islands in the South China Sea. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe hide caption

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CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe

'Great Wall Of Sand': China Builds Islands In Contested Waters

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Liu Jianchao (second right), China's assistant foreign minister, shakes hands with Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama (second left) during a meeting in Tokyo, Japan on Thursday. Liu Tan/Xinhua/Landov hide caption

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Liu Tan/Xinhua/Landov