A Chinese military aircraft for the first time has landed at an airport built on an island in South China Sea.
The airport built by the China could base fighter jets. The runway on the Fiery cross reef is 3000 meters long and is one of the three China has been building for over a year, Reuters reported Monday.
A military aircraft on patrol over the South China Sea on Sunday received an emergency call to land at Fiery Cross reef to evacuate three seriously ill workers, People’s Liberation Army daily was quoted as reporting on Sunday.
They were then taken in the transport aircraft back to Hainan island for treatment, PLA said, showing a picture of the aircraft on the ground in Hainan.
It was the first time China's military had publicly admitted landing an aircraft on Fiery Cross Reef, the influential Global Times tabloid said.
It cited a military expert as saying the flight showed the airfield was up to military standards and could see fighter jets based there in the event of war.
The runways would be long enough to handle long-range bombers and transport aircraft as well as China's best jet fighters, giving it a presence deep in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia that it has lacked until now.