China isn't the only one building islands in the South China Sea

China is not the only nation building islands in the South China Sea — although the scope of its construction is unparalleled.

Along with Beijing, Vietnam has also started projects mostly within the past two years of constructing islands. Altogether, the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative have documented 10 sites of Vietnamese construction throughout the region. Taken together, Vietnam has constructed slightly over 120 acres of land in the area.

By comparison, China has created over 3,000 acres of land in the Spratly Islands, far overshadowing Vietnam’s efforts. However, Vietnam’s construction gives China cover for its activities as the US has called on all sides to cease construction in the region.

Below are before and after photos showcasing Vietnam’s island building efforts.

Spratly Islands: 2014 - 2016

Southwest Cay: 2005 - 2016

Sin Cowe Island: 2006 - 2016

West Reef: 2013 - 2016

CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Sand Cay: 2011 - 2016

Pearson Reef: 2014 - 2016

CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Central Reef: 2009 - 2016

CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Grierson Reef: 2012 - 2016

CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Cornwallis South Reef (Southeast): 2014 - 2016

CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Cornwallis South Reef (Southwest): 2014 - 2016

CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

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