The tension caused by territorial disputes in the South China Sea seems unlikely to ease in the near future, given the almost-completion of Chinese runways on reclaimed land and Beijing’s possible deployment of J-11 fighter jets there, according to a Hong Kong newspaper report.
If China goes ahead, the deployment in the Spratly islands, which China and Taiwan call Nansha, “would dramatically extend the reach of the nation’s military beyond its southernmost base at Sanya on Hainan island,” said the June 21 report published in the English-language South China Morning Post, citing unnamed analysts.
China’s key rival will be the United States, and Beijing knows that if its military uses coercive measures or force to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea, the US will definitely interfere, Tsui was cited as saying.
“China’s first carrier-based jet, the J-15, might be advanced enough to challenge the US F-18, but the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s main fighter jets, the J-11 and its variants, cannot compete with the F-22 and F-35 currently deployed by the US,” Tsui said.
Full article: PLA’s J-11 fighters likely to be deployed in South China Sea (Want China Times)