Baengnyeongdo: A South Korean Island Facing China Threats

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Baengnyeongdo: A South Korean Island Facing China Threats” – below is their description.

    Baengnyeong has been a key location for U.S. allies in Seoul to spy on North Korea since fighting ended in the Korean War nearly 70 years ago. Yet now the island is on China’s radar.

    Roughly 5,000 residents on Baengnyeong have also become wary of an influx of Chinese fishing boats near the island, which sits in a strategic location perpendicular to the Bohai Strait — the main waterway providing access to Beijing. In years past the island’s quartzite beach — one of a handful of natural runways in the world — was used for sorties in the Korean War.

    “China wants to make the sea a buffer zone to expand its maritime influence and secure a path for its fleets to exit to the south — and the ROK stands in its way of realizing that goal,” said Shin Won-sik, a former general in South Korea’s military who now serves as a lawmaker with the parliament’s Defense Committee, referring to South Korea’s official name.

    On Baengnyeong, residents are growing impatient with China’s moves and want President Moon Jae-in to do more. South Korea’s leader has sought to balance ties with China, the country’s biggest trading partner, and the U.S., its main security partner for more than seven decades.

    South Korea is planning to build airports to serve civilian and military aircraft on Baengnyeong and the Yellow Sea island of Heuksan further to the south. Residents said the airport would help them feel safer, but they wanted the government in Seoul to do more to deter China.

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