Beijing sends nuclear capable H-6K bomber over Scarborough Shoal in new South China Sea escalation

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People’s Liberation Army air force (PLAAF) H-6K long-range bomber is shown over Scarborough Shoal. Picture: Weibo

 

The United States has conducted several B-52 bomber ‘freedom of navigation’ flights over the contested waterway in recent months, along with flights by surveillance and patrol aircraft.

Beijing on Friday returned the favour. Continue reading

Is China Deploying Anti-Ship Missiles on Islands in the South China Sea?

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Did China just deploy dangerous anti-ship missiles to Woody Island in the South China Sea?

Several outlets are speculating that Beijing might have taken what is very likely the next logical step in its dangerous game of military brinksmanship in this increasingly tension-filled body of water. Continue reading

US Navy’s Challenge in South China Sea? Sheer Number of Chinese Ships

Not only do they have coast guard ships, they are now able to mobilize commercial ships, bringing the total to 172,000 vessels during a national emergency.

 

Hong Kong:  When a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer sailed near one of Beijing’s artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea this week, it was operating in a maritime domain bristling with Chinese ships.

While the U.S. Navy is expected to keep its technological edge in Asia for decades, China’s potential trump card is sheer weight of numbers, with dozens of naval and coastguard vessels routinely deployed in the South China Sea. Continue reading

Surveillance facility eyed for Pacific

BANGKOK – The Defense Ministry plans to build a communications intelligence facility on Iwoto Island in the Pacific to improve its ability to conduct surveillance on China and its growing military presence, a government source said Thursday.

The ministry’s budget request for next fiscal year includes part of the ¥12 billion needed to build the facility, which would come online in fiscal 2017, the source said. Iwoto, about 1,250 km south of Tokyo, used to be known as Iwojima and was the site of a terrible battle during World War II. Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera will visit the island early next month. Continue reading

China unveils coast guard to manage ‘sea conflicts’

China’s new unified coast guard agency has gone into operation, state media reported yesterday amid maritime disputes with its neighbours, and experts said more ships will be armed as a result.

The China Coast Guard integrates the functions of marine surveillance, the existing coast guard which came under the police, fisheries law enforcement and Customs’ anti-smuggling maritime police. Continue reading