The reclaimed Chinese South China Sea islands are often mentioned as a platform to base anti-ship missiles to deter US aircraft carriers. However, they are far more important than mere missile bases. It has been reported that China is in the process of reclaiming Huangyuan Island (aka Scarborough Shoal). Huangyuan Island is only 123 miles from the Philippine coast. To conquer the Philippines, China can island hop from China's Hainan island to Xisha Island (aka Paracels) to Huangyuan Island (aka Scarborough Shoal). Using an island-hopping strategy, China can probably conquer the Philippines in one month. This is a picture of China's Sansha City on Xisha Island (aka Paracel). As you can see, Xisha is quite large with a forest and would serve as the supply base for military transport to Huangyuan Island.