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 H-6K bomber to be showcased at first public event

China’s H-6K medium and long range bomber will be open to the public for the first time this week, the official People’s Liberation Army Daily reported.

The bomber’s availability will take place Thursday during the “Pursuing the Aero Dream” event in Changchun, an event to mark the 70th anniversary of the Old Northeast Aviation School there, PLA Daily quoted People’s Liberation Army air force officials as saying. Continue reading

Pentagon Concerned by Chinese Anti-Ship Missile Firing

Cruise missile test firing spotted on South China Sea’s Woody Island

China has deployed anti-ship cruise missiles on a disputed South China Sea island and the missiles are raising new concerns in the Pentagon over Beijing’s growing militarization of the vital strategic waterway.

Defense officials confirmed that China’s military recently test-fired a YJ-62 anti-ship cruise missile from Woody Island, in the Paracels located in the northern part of the South China Sea. Continue reading

Report: U.S. aircraft carriers’ ‘unchallenged primacy may be coming to a close’

A report published Monday by the Center for a New American Security, a D.C.-based think tank that focuses on national security, claims that the Navy’s carrier operations are at an inflection point. Faced with growing threats abroad, the United States can either “operate its carriers at ever-increasing ranges … or assume high levels of risk in both blood and treasure.” Continue reading

Military Marvel: China Ready to Test Asia’s Largest Warship

New satellite data reveals that China is getting ready to test Asia’s largest surface warship. It will be tested at a landlocked test rig in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in China.

The warship Type 055 cruiser mockup is nearing completion with recent photos showing that the warship’s sophisticated electronics and assimilated stealth mast are finished and ready to be tested at the test rig in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Continue reading

Type 052D destroyer can carry China’s supersonic anti-ship missile

The PLA’s Type 052D guided missile destroyer, the most advanced class of China’s destroyers, is capable of carrying supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles with capabilities similar to the Russian-built C-Club-N missile, according to the Canada-based Kanwa Defense Review. Continue reading

US should be worried about China’s artificial island: expert

Vassily Kashin, a Russian defense expert from the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, says the amount of money spent by China to build an artificial island in a disputed part of the South China Sea is enough to build a brand-new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, according to the Voice of Russia. Continue reading