Edition:
United Kingdom
Pictures | Wed Dec 14, 2016 | 6:00pm GMT

Disputed islands of the South China Sea

A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Hughes Reef in the South China Sea. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS

A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Hughes Reef in the South China Sea. CSIS Asia Maritime...more

A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Hughes Reef in the South China Sea. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS
Close
1 / 17
A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Johnson Reef in the South China Sea. CSIS  Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS

A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Johnson Reef in the South China Sea. CSIS Asia Maritime...more

A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Johnson Reef in the South China Sea. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS
Close
2 / 17
A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Subi Reef in the South China Sea. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS

A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Subi Reef in the South China Sea. CSIS Asia Maritime...more

A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Subi Reef in the South China Sea. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS
Close
3 / 17
A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Gaven Reefs in the South China Sea. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS

A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Gaven Reefs in the South China Sea. CSIS Asia Maritime...more

A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Gaven Reefs in the South China Sea. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS
Close
4 / 17
Vietnamese-held Ladd Reef, in the Spratly Island group in the South China Sea, in this Planet Labs handout photo. An outpost that houses a Vietnamese garrison can be seen on the central northern part of the reef, accessed by two small perpendicular channels. Trevor Hammond/Planet Labs/Handout via REUTERS

Vietnamese-held Ladd Reef, in the Spratly Island group in the South China Sea, in this Planet Labs handout photo. An outpost that houses a Vietnamese garrison can be seen on the central northern part of the reef, accessed by two small perpendicular...more

Vietnamese-held Ladd Reef, in the Spratly Island group in the South China Sea, in this Planet Labs handout photo. An outpost that houses a Vietnamese garrison can be seen on the central northern part of the reef, accessed by two small perpendicular channels. Trevor Hammond/Planet Labs/Handout via REUTERS
Close
5 / 17
An aerial view shows of Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, in the South China Sea. 


REUTERS/Fabian Hamacher

An aerial view shows of Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, in the South China Sea. REUTERS/Fabian Hamacher

An aerial view shows of Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, in the South China Sea. REUTERS/Fabian Hamacher
Close
6 / 17
Buildings and structures are seen on Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, at the South China Sea. 

REUTERS/J.R Wu

Buildings and structures are seen on Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, at the South China Sea. REUTERS/J.R Wu

Buildings and structures are seen on Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, at the South China Sea. REUTERS/J.R Wu
Close
7 / 17
A destroyed land bridge (top) is seen in this view of a North Island, near Tree Island and Woody Island in the Paracel chain, in the South China Sea in this Planet Labs handout photo. Trevor Hammond/Planet Labs/Handout via REUTERS

A destroyed land bridge (top) is seen in this view of a North Island, near Tree Island and Woody Island in the Paracel chain, in the South China Sea in this Planet Labs handout photo. Trevor Hammond/Planet Labs/Handout via REUTERS

A destroyed land bridge (top) is seen in this view of a North Island, near Tree Island and Woody Island in the Paracel chain, in the South China Sea in this Planet Labs handout photo. Trevor Hammond/Planet Labs/Handout via REUTERS
Close
8 / 17
Members of the Taiwanese Coast Guard secure the perimeter on Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, at the South China Sea. REUTERS/J.R Wu

Members of the Taiwanese Coast Guard secure the perimeter on Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, at the South China Sea. REUTERS/J.R Wu

Members of the Taiwanese Coast Guard secure the perimeter on Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, at the South China Sea. REUTERS/J.R Wu
Close
9 / 17
Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army Navy patrol near a sign in the Spratly Islands, known in China as the Nansha Islands. The sign reads "Nansha is our national land, sacred and inviolable." Photo taken February 2016. 
REUTERS/Stringer

Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army Navy patrol near a sign in the Spratly Islands, known in China as the Nansha Islands. The sign reads "Nansha is our national land, sacred and inviolable." Photo taken February 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army Navy patrol near a sign in the Spratly Islands, known in China as the Nansha Islands. The sign reads "Nansha is our national land, sacred and inviolable." Photo taken February 2016. REUTERS/Stringer
Close
10 / 17
An aerial view shows Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, in the South China Sea. REUTERS/Fabian Hamacher

An aerial view shows Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, in the South China Sea. REUTERS/Fabian Hamacher

An aerial view shows Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, in the South China Sea. REUTERS/Fabian Hamacher
Close
11 / 17
A Taiwanese Coast Guard patrol ship, Kaohsiung (CG 129), is seen during a rescue drill near the coast of Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, at the South China Sea. 

REUTERS/J.R Wu

A Taiwanese Coast Guard patrol ship, Kaohsiung (CG 129), is seen during a rescue drill near the coast of Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, at the South China Sea. REUTERS/J.R Wu

A Taiwanese Coast Guard patrol ship, Kaohsiung (CG 129), is seen during a rescue drill near the coast of Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, at the South China Sea. REUTERS/J.R Wu
Close
12 / 17
Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Photo taken May 2016. 


U.S. Navy/Handout

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Photo taken May 2016. U.S. Navy/Handout

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Photo taken May 2016. U.S. Navy/Handout
Close
13 / 17
A satellite image released by the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies shows construction of possible radar tower facilities in the Spratly Islands. Photo taken February 2016.  


CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe

A satellite image released by the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies shows construction of possible radar tower facilities in the Spratly Islands. Photo taken February 2016. CSIS...more

A satellite image released by the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies shows construction of possible radar tower facilities in the Spratly Islands. Photo taken February 2016. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe
Close
14 / 17
An octagonal tower with a conical feature at its top, located on the northeast side of Subi Reef was nearly complete measuring 40 feet on each side and 90 to 100 feet tall in this Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative. Photo taken January 2016. 


CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/Digital Globe

An octagonal tower with a conical feature at its top, located on the northeast side of Subi Reef was nearly complete measuring 40 feet on each side and 90 to 100 feet tall in this Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Asia Maritime...more

An octagonal tower with a conical feature at its top, located on the northeast side of Subi Reef was nearly complete measuring 40 feet on each side and 90 to 100 feet tall in this Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative. Photo taken January 2016. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/Digital Globe
Close
15 / 17
A satellite image released by the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies shows construction of possible radar tower facilities in the Spratly Islands. Photo taken February 2016. 


CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe

A satellite image released by the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies shows construction of possible radar tower facilities in the Spratly Islands. Photo taken February 2016. CSIS...more

A satellite image released by the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies shows construction of possible radar tower facilities in the Spratly Islands. Photo taken February 2016. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe
Close
16 / 17
A satellite image released by the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies shows construction of possible radar tower facilities in the Spratly Islands. Photo taken February 2016.  



CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe

A satellite image released by the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies shows construction of possible radar tower facilities in the Spratly Islands. Photo taken February 2016. CSIS...more

A satellite image released by the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies shows construction of possible radar tower facilities in the Spratly Islands. Photo taken February 2016. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe
Close
17 / 17

Next Slideshows

The shrinking rebel-held pocket of Aleppo

The Moscow defence ministry said the rebels now control an Aleppo enclave of only 1 square mile as renewed air strikes and shelling rock the Syrian city.

14 Dec 2016

Aleppo: Since the beginning

A chronology of conflict in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo.

14 Dec 2016

Inside government-controlled Aleppo

Inside government-controlled areas of Aleppo during a media tour.

14 Dec 2016

Newsmakers of 2016

The people who shaped the news this year.

13 Dec 2016

MORE IN PICTURES

Editors Choice Pictures

Editors Choice Pictures

Our top photos from the last 24 hours.

Thousands protest Polish court overhaul

Thousands protest Polish court overhaul

Tens of thousands of Poles protest against a new law that allows parliament to appoint Supreme Court judges, defying a European Union warning that the move undermines democracy and the rule of law.

The ruins of Mosul

The ruins of Mosul

Scenes of devastation after the battle to retake the Iraqi city from Islamic State.

FINA World Aquatics Championships

FINA World Aquatics Championships

Highlights from the 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.

Best of IAAF ParaAthletics

Best of IAAF ParaAthletics

Highlights from the IAAF World ParaAthletics Championships in London.

The case of Charlie Gard

The case of Charlie Gard

The parents of 11-month-old Charlie Gard have been fighting a legal battle to send their critically ill son to the United States for experimental therapy, but Britain's courts have refused permission on the grounds it would prolong his suffering without any realistic prospect of it helping.

Taliban car bomb attack in Kabul

Taliban car bomb attack in Kabul

A Taliban suicide attacker detonated a car bomb in the western part of Kabul, killing dozens and wounding more than 40, government officials said.

Best of Comic-Con

Best of Comic-Con

Highlights from the annual Comic-Con gathering in San Diego.

Best of Tour de France

Best of Tour de France

Highlights from all the stages of the Tour de France.

Trending Collections

Pictures

Podcast