China is reportedly constructing an airstrip on disputed territory that is claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam, according to a Friday report by The Associated Press after analyzing satellite photos of the scene.
The land disputed in question is the South China Sea island. The new airstrip only started to appear last month.
Reports cite the satellite images which show the airstrip stretching across Triton Island, however, the runway itself is reportedly much shorter than others China has built on contested islands, according to the South China Morning Post.
Triton Island is the westernmost and southernmost of the Paracel Islands.
The United States chose not to take a stance on to whom the land is sovereign.
China and other East Asian countries
China claims the entire South China Sea as its own, according to the Press, and also reported that the entire runway would be over 2,000 feet (600 meters) long. The runway in question would be able to hold turboprop aircraft and drones but is not suited for bombers or fighter jets.
The island had some buildings and a small harbor belonging to China, but the country has refused to provide the construction work details that were done in the area, the Press reported.
China says military held naval, air combat readiness patrols around Taiwan
The day after the initial report by the Press, China held a joint naval and air combat readiness patrol around Taiwan, state media outlet Xinhua reported.
The Eastern Theatre Command held the patrol focused on coordination and testing the combat capabilities of its troops in joint operations, in a serious warning to "Taiwan independence separatist forces," the spokesperson of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Colonel Shi Yi, was quoted as saying.
Reuters contributed to this report.