A war footing emerges in the South China Sea

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Navy personnel of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy take part in a military display in the South China Sea April 12, 2018. Picture taken April 12, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

 

China’s recent deployment of nuclear-capable bombers, missiles and jamming devices has drastically shifted the contested area’s strategic calculus

China’s deployment of H-6k bombers to disputed land features in the South China Sea has provoked an uproar across the region and beyond while raising considerably the potential for armed conflict.

China’s bombers are capable of conducting nuclear strikes and have an operational range of more than 1,000 nautical miles. This places practically all other claimant states in the contested maritime area within their crosshairs. Continue reading

China for first time lands nuclear strike bomber on disputed island

 

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A Chinese H-6K bomber conducting ‘touch-and-go’ landing operations at Woody Island. / People’s Daily

 

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. Continue reading

China ‘crosses threshold’ with missiles at South China Sea outposts

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PLA soldiers march near a sign on the Spratly Islands. China lays claim to almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea, through which about US$5 trillion worth of trade passes each year. Photo: Reuters

 

Anti-ship missiles reportedly allow China to strike vessels within a 295 nautical mile radius of man-made islands

The news comes less than a month after The Wall Street Journal reported that “military jamming equipment” had been installed on the Spratly Islands, one of the locations also identified in the report this week.

Continue reading

While world watches North Korea, China builds in the South China Sea

Airstrips and military facilities on China’s Subi Reef as seen from a Philippine military transport plane on April 21, 2017. China has renewed its militarization efforts in the South China Sea while attention has been focused on North Korea. (Bullit Marquez/AP/File)

 

While the world has turned its focus to North Korea, satellite images show new Chinese high-frequency radar facilities on its controversial man-made outposts in the Spratly and Parcel Islands. China has been pressured to halt its militarization of the contested land.

While attention in Asia has been distracted by the North Korean nuclear crisis in the past year, China has continued to install high-frequency radar and other facilities that can be used for military purposes on its man-made islands in the South China Sea, a US think-tank said on Thursday. Continue reading

World View: Chinese Vessels Massing Near Philippines Island in South China Sea

AP Photo/Rolex Dela Pena, Pool

 

A statement by Philippines Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio warns that government must act in response to an “invasion of Philippine territory by China” in the South China Sea.

The warning was triggered when Rep. Gary Alejano said that the military reported early last week that Chinese vessels appeared to be massing north of Pag-asa Island (Thitu Island), a Philippine territory. The Philippines maintains a small population of about 100 people on Pag-asa Island in order to guarantee that it maintains its sovereignty. Continue reading

China fighter plane spotted on South China Sea island: think tank

A Chinese J-11 fighter jet is pictured on the airstrip at Woody Island in the South China Sea in this March 29, 2017 handout satellite photo. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS

A Chinese J-11 fighter jet is pictured on the airstrip at Woody Island in the South China Sea in this March 29, 2017 handout satellite photo. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS

 

A Chinese fighter plane has been spotted on a Chinese-held island in the South China Sea, the first such sighting in a year and the first since U.S. President Trump took office, a U.S. think tank reported on Thursday.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), part of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the J-11 fighter was visible in a satellite image taken on March 29 of Woody Island in the Paracel island chain. Continue reading

China ‘beefing up military’ on disputed islands in the South China Sea, says US think tank

A satellite image taken last month of Chinese building work on Drummond Island in the Paracels. Photo: Centre for Strategic and International Studies

 

Satellite images suggest further military build-up on the Paracel Islands, US researchers say

Satellite images suggest China has upgraded military infrastructure in northern areas of the South China Sea around the disputed Paracel Islands, according to a US think tank.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said on Wednesday that China now occupies 20 outposts in the Paracels and there has been an extensive military buildup on eight islands. Continue reading

Exclusive: China installs weapons systems on artificial islands – U.S. think tank

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A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Johnson Reef in the South China Sea A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Johnson Reef in the South China Sea in this image released on December 13, 2016. Courtesy CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) said its findings come despite statements by the Chinese leadership that Beijing has no intention to militarize the islands in the strategic trade route, where territory is claimed by several countries.

AMTI said it had been tracking construction of hexagonal structures on Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi reefs in the Spratly Islands since June and July. China has already built military length airstrips on these islands. Continue reading

China’s hold on South China Sea tightening

Taiwan invited international journalists to an island in a bid to prove it was habitable, and the Philippines agreed to open up five military bases to station US troops – the first to set up house on the archipelago in almost 25 years.And in what may be the oddest twist, China had a maritime confrontation with Indonesia, one of the few countries in the area with whom it previously had no territorial disputes. Continue reading

China needs 3rd runway in Spratly Islands to break US grip in South China Sea if tensions escalate, experts say

Comments come after US think tank says satellite imagery indicates preparatory work on third airstrip in Spratly Islands, on Mischief Reef

Beijing needs to build a third airstrip in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands to meet its long-term strategic goal of being a true blue-water navy, Chinese military experts say.

Their remarks came after the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank in the United States said satellite imagery taken on September 8 showed China appeared to be carrying out preparatory work for a third runway, this time on Mischief Reef. Continue reading

China Building Third Airstrip on Disputed South China Sea Islets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China appears to be building a third airstrip in contested territory in the South China Sea, a U.S. expert said on Monday, citing satellite photographs taken last week.

The photographs taken for Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank on Sept. 8 show construction on Mischief Reef, one of several artificial islands China has created in the Spratly archipelago. Continue reading