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

How China wins the South China Sea war without firing a shot

China is engaged in a broad-ranging information warfare campaign as part of a covert effort to take control of the South China Sea — in the words of ancient strategist Sun Tzu, without firing a shot.

The Chinese cyber attacks have been carried out extensively on regional states along with political influence operations designed to falsely convince the international community that the waters of the sea are and have been China’s sovereign maritime territory.

James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, told a Senate hearing last week that aggressive Chinese cyber attacks were continuing. ”China continues to succeed in conducting cyber espionage against the US government, our allies, and US companies,” he said. 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

Pentagon Warns of Conflict Over Chinese Buildup on Disputed Island

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Beijing asserts Scarborough Shoal is Chinese territory

China’s plans to build up a disputed island near the Philippines could lead to a regional conflict, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Congress on Thursday.

Carter was asked about the strategic significance of China’s plan to add military facilities to a disputed island known as Scarborough Shoal located about 120 miles—within missile range—of Subic Bay, Philippines, where U.S. warships will be based. Continue reading

China deploys fighter jets to South China Sea island as tensions grow

TENSIONS are mounting after satellite images revealed China has deployed two fighter jets to a hotly contested island in the South China Sea.

The images, taken from ImageSat International, show two Chinese Shenyang J-11 fighter jets on Woody Island and have been authenticated by US defence officials.

The island, in the Paracel island chain, is in the South China Sea, which sees more than $5trillion in global trade pass every year.

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

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

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

China Puts Advanced Missiles on Disputed Southeast Asian Island

President Obama defended U.S. naval and aircraft operations near disputed South China Sea islands claimed by China on Tuesday as new intelligence revealed Beijing recently placed advanced air defense missiles in the Paracels.

“Freedom of navigation must be upheld,” Obama said, adding “the United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, and we will support the right of all countries to do the same.” Continue reading

China builds military airstrip on disputed island

The newly built facility stretches across Woody Island, part of the Paracel chain, China’s Xinhua news agency said late Tuesday.

The Paracels are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, and tensions between Beijing and Hanoi rose this year over Chinese construction and oil exploration there.

The runway is Beijing’s latest physical assertion of control in the area, two years after it declared a city named Sansha centered on Woody Island — known as Yongxing in Chinese — to administer vast swathes of the South China Sea. Continue reading

Pentagon: Growing Threat as China Expands Missile Arsenal Development

China is developing several new short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, according to a military intelligence report made public this week.

“China has the most active and diverse ballistic missile development program in the world,” the report by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center stated.

“It is developing and testing offensive missiles, forming additional missile units, qualitatively upgrading missile systems, and developing methods to counter ballistic missile defenses,” the report said. Continue reading

China will open disputed islands to tourists

What we have here is likely one way of many unconventional ways of war China is using in an attempt to shore up domestic public support for future land grabs. In this case, if tourism by Chinese nationals is allowed, it sets a precedent in the citizen’s mind on the mainland that ‘this is home’. Any response by a foreign nation, such as Japan (which in China still harbors deep post WWII resentment to this day) to continue to lay claim to disputed territories will be met by a CCP that has a solid and unified domestic national support.

China will this month start allowing tourists to visit the Paracel Islands, one of a group of disputed islets and reefs in the South China Sea, state news agency Xinhua said, a move likely to irk rival claimant Vietnam.

A cruise ship that can accommodate 1,965 passengers is ready for sailing to the Paracels, known in Chinese as Xisha, Xinhua reported, citing ship owner Haihang Group Corp.

Hainan Harbour and Shipping Holdings Co is building another cruise ship. Continue reading