“虽然在岛礁上建设不是什么新鲜事，但中国大规模建设军事基地和跑道却突然造成了前所未有的环境破坏;我们面临着大面积的珊瑚礁被掩埋的情况。最后，几乎有13平方公里- – 1 300万平方米- -被摧毁，就被埋在这些岛屿之下而言，这是一个巨大的震动”。
“The impacts of the dredging and land reclamation projects are compounding the pre-existing impacts of fishingadding that the Asian countries building artificial islands there are having a substantial environmental impact. Between 2012 and 2015, Chinese fishermen have used large, extended propellers affixed to utility boats to chop the reefs and prepare for the construction of artificial islands” 。
“While building on the reefs is not new, China’s large-scale construction of a military base and runways is resulting in unprecedented environmental damage suddenly; we have this massive situation where large areas of coral reef are being buried. In the end, it was almost 13 square kilometres — 13 million square metres — that was destroyed, just in terms of being buried under these islands, and this was a huge, huge shock” .
However, the response of the Chinese Foreign ministry has been focused on presenting that the artificial islands will be used mainly for civil purposes. It could be used for search and rescue operations in defence, however with that ends the scope of involvement, it will have in military operations.
To the accusations posed by environmentalists with respect to the environmental impact that such a construction will have, Wu Schiun, the President of the National Institute for South China Sea and Studies seems to state that China has been involved in island construction programs with a stricter green ethos. However, despite these assurances, the fact remains that any construction will damage the reefs and depletes fish stock . Sediment concentrations induced by constructions could potentially block of sunlight and affect the coral growth directly which will then affect the fishes alternatively, the sediment concentration could block the gills of the fish leading to their death.