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.

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Chinese supersonic ship killer makes U.S. Navy’s job harder

The USS Lassen guided-missile destroyer sails in the Pacific Ocean in November 2009. In a challenge to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy sent the Lassen within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by China in waters near the Spratly islands Tuesday. | REUTERS

 

 

Increased interactions between the Chinese and U.S. Navy in the contested South China Sea risk becoming more complicated by the increasingly sophisticated missiles being carried by submarines.

A new report to the U.S. Congress assessing a Chinese submarine-launched missile known as the YJ-18 highlights the danger, noting the missile accelerates to supersonic speed just before hitting its target, making it harder for a crew to defend their ship. Continue reading