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China ‘may build nuclear plants’ in South China Sea

BEIJING (AFP) – China may build mobile nuclear power plants in the South China Sea, state media reported on Friday, days after an international tribunal dismissed Beijing’s vast claims in the strategically vital waters.

“Marine nuclear power platform construction will be used to support China’s effective control in the South China Sea,” the website of the state-run Global Times cited the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) as saying on a social media account.

The Global Times cited the report as saying that “marine nuclear power platforms will be used” in the islands and reefs of the Spratly chain in the contested sea “to ensure freshwater”.

The original report was deleted from CNNC’s account on social media platform WeChat on Friday, and a staffer at the firm told Agence France-Presse that it “needed to confirm” its accuracy.

“In the past, the freshwater provision to troops stationed in the South China Sea could not be guaranteed, and could only be provided by boats delivering barrels of water,” the Global Times cited the report as saying.

“In the future, as the South China Sea electricity and power system is strengthened, China will speed up the commercial development of the South China Sea region,” it added.

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