China Deploys Fighter Jets to Disputed Island in South China Sea

Fighter jets have been sent by China to the contested islands of South China Sea.

2 min read
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China is “changing the operational landscape” in the South China Sea by deploying missiles and radar as part of an effort to militarily dominate East Asia, a senior US military official said on Tuesday.

China is “clearly militarising the South China (Sea),” said Admiral Harry Harris, head of the US Pacific Command, adding: “You’d have to believe in a flat Earth to think otherwise.”

Harris said he believed China’s deployment of surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island in the South China Sea’s Paracel chain, new radars on Cuarteron Reef in the Spratlys and its building of airstrips were ‘actions that are changing in my opinion, the operational landscape in the South China Sea.’

US government sources confirmed that China recently deployed fighter jets to Woody Island. It was not the first time Beijing sent jets there but it raised new questions about its intentions.

US Navy Captain Darryn James, spokesman for US Pacific Command, said China’s repeated deployment of advanced fighter aircraft to Woody Island continued a ‘disturbing trend’.

These destabilising actions are inconsistent with the commitment by China and all claimants to exercise restraint from actions that could escalate disputes. That’s why we’ve called for all claimants to stop land reclamation, stop construction and stop militarisation in the South China Sea.
US Navy Captain Darryn James, Spokesman, US Pacific Command

But US and Chinese foreign ministers signaled that despite disagreements over the South China Sea, they were near agreement on a UN resolution against North Korea for its recent nuclear and missile tests and stressed their cooperation on economic and other issues.

Also read:
China Sends Missiles to South China Sea Islands, Tensions Rise
US and India Consider Joint Patrolling of South China Sea

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