China for the first time sent a long-range, nuclear-capable bomber to an island in the South China Sea.
Chinese state media on May 18 released a video showing the H-6K bomber landing and taking off from Woody Island, Beijing’s largest base in the Paracel Islands.
The Pentagon said China’s actions continue to raise tensions in the South China Sea years after supreme leader Xi Jinping pledged not to militarize the disputed area.
According to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), “The base H-6 aircraft’s combat radius of nearly 1,000 nautical miles means even China’s basic bombers taking off from Woody Island could cover the entire South China Sea.”
AMTI added that “Nearly all of the Philippines falls within the radius of the bombers, including Manila and all five Philippine military bases earmarked for development under the U.S.-Philippines Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. An H-6K, with its technical upgrades giving it a combat radius of nearly 1,900 nautical miles, would dwarf this radius, putting all of Southeast Asia in range of flights from Woody Island.”
In 2016, Fox News reported that China had sent surface-to-air missiles to Woody Island.
Full article: China for first time lands nuclear strike bomber on disputed island (World Tribune)