20 April 2018
CHINA’S up to more mischief in the South China Sea. Surveillance photos suggest it has already broken its promise to not land military aircraft on its artificial islands. And there are claims the facilities have begun jamming US forces.
Philippines news service The Inquirer has obtained an aerial surveillance photo taken back in January which appears to show two Chinese Xian Y-7 twin engine aircraft on the recently constructed artificial island of Mischief Reef — also known as Panganiban Reef.
These are military combat transport aircraft, built to rapidly deploy special forces troops and munitions to a battlefield.
“If they could land transports now, in the future they might want to land more provocative and destabilising types of assets such as fighter jets and bombers,” research fellow Collin Koh at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies’ Maritime Security Program, told The Inquirer.
“And over time, such consistent but creeping practice would become a fact, in effect dealing a fait accompli to Manila, should it choose to stay silent or downplay the issue, and it could become ‘routinised’ or ‘normalised’.”
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 23/04/2018